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MISHNAH. ALL ARE BOUND To APPEAR [AT THE TEMPLE],1 EXCEPT A DEAF MAN
[HERESH],2 AN IMBECILE AND A MINOR,3 A PERSON OF UNKNOWN SEX [TUMTUM],4 A
HERMAPHRODITE,5 WOMEN, UNFREED SLAVES,6 THE LAME, THE BLIND, THE SICK,
THE AGED, AND ONE WHO IS UNABLE TO GO UP ON FOOT.7 WHO IS [IN THIS RESPECT
DEEMED] A MINOR?8 WHOEVER IS UNABLE9 TO RIDE ON HIS FATHER'S SHOULDERS
AND GO UP FROM JERUSALEM TO THE TEMPLE MOUNT. [THIS IS] THE VIEW OF BETH
BUT BETH HILLEL SAY: WHOEVER IS UNABLE TO HOLD HIS FATHER'S HAND AND
GO UP FROM JERUSALEM TO THE TEMPLE MOUNT, FOR IT IS SAID:10 THREE
BETH SHAMMAI SAY: THE PILGRIMAGE-OFFERING12 MUST BE WORTH [AT LEAST]
TWO PIECES OF SILVER13 AND THE FESTAL OFFERING14 ONE MA'AH OF SILVER.15 BUT
BETH HILLEL SAY: THE PILGRIMAGE-OFFERING MUST BE WORTH [AT LEAST] ONE
MA'AH OF SIlver AND THE FESTAL SACRIFICE TWO PIECES OF SILVER.
GEMARA. What does [the word] ALL come to include?16 — It comes to include one who is half
a slave and half a freedman.17 But according to Rabina, who says: One who is half a slave and half a
freedman is exempt from appearing [at the Temple], what does [the word] ALL come to include? —
It comes to include one who was lame on the first day [of the festival] and became well18 on the
This will be right according to the one who says: All of them19 can make good [the sacrifices] for
one another;20 but according to the one who says: All of them can make good [the sacrifices] of the
first day [only],21 what does ALL, come to include? — It comes to include a man who is blind in one
eye; and it is contrary to the opinion of the following Tanna. For it is taught: Johanan b. Dahabai22
said in the name of R. Judah: A man who is blind in one eye is exempt from appearing [at the
Temple]23 as it is said:24 Yir'eh [He will see], Yera'eh [He will be seen].25
As He comes to see, so he comes to be seen: just as [He comes] to see with both eyes, so also to
be seen with both eyes. Alternatively, I could answer: Actually, it is as I said at first;26 and as for
your objection [arising] from the statement of Rabina, it is not a [valid] objection: the one
[teaching]27 is according to the earlier Mishnah,28 and the other29 is according to the later
Mishnah.30 For we have learnt: One who is half a slave and half a freedman serves his master one
day and himself the other day: this is the view of Beth Hillel. Said Beth Shammai to them:
(1) I.e., at the Temple Court (vrzg), on the three Pilgrim Festivals of Passover, Pentecost and Tabernacles; cf. Ex.
XXIII, 14, 17; Deut. XVI, 16. The word vhhtr (rendered in our text, ‘to appear’) is understood by Rashi,
Maimonides, Jastrow, Danby etc. in the sense of ohbp ,hhtr, the personal appearance of the pilgrim in the Temple.
But R. Tam (in Tosaf. a. l.) regards it as referring to the burnt-offering (v. Lev. I, 3f) brought by the pilgrim on his visit
to the Temple i.e. it stands for vhhtr ,kug; cf. end of Mishnah, 4b, 6b et seq.
(2) Explained infra 2b as a ‘deaf-mute’.
(3) The deaf man, imbecile and minor are exempted from the observance of this and other positive precepts on account
of lack of intelligence. The reason for the exemption of others is explained in the Gemara.
(4) ouynuy from ony ‘to fill up stop’: one whose genitals are concealed or undeveloped.
(5) xubhdursbt Grk. **.
(6) Explained infra 4a as ‘half free’; v. p. 2, n. 6.
(7) I.e., from Jerusalem to the Temple Mount.
(8) Ordinarily, a boy up to the age of thirteen years and a day is considered a minor
(9) I.e., is too young; but as soon as he is old enough he must visit the Temple, because, although exempt by the Law of
the Torah till he reaches his majority (v. n. 8), the Rabbis imposed on the father the duty of training him in the
observance of the precepts.
(10) Ex. XXIII, 14.
(11) ohkdr (pl. of kdr) rendered in E.V. by ‘times’, occurs in this sense again only in Num. XXII, 28, 32, 33. On the
basis of Ex. XXIII, 14, the Mishnah often uses ohkdr of the three Pilgrim Festivals. But the usual meaning of kdr is
‘foot’, hence the quotation is understood in our Mishnah as ‘three times on foot’ i.e., the precept to appear at the Temple
applies only to those who can walk.
(12) vhhtr, the word translated above ‘to appear’ (v. p. 1, n. 1). Here it stands for vhhtr ,kug, the
burnt-offering, which, it was inferred from Ex. XXIII,15 (end), the pilgrim had to bring on visiting the Temple.
(13) I.e., two ma'ahs, v. n. 4.
(14) vdhdv, whence our tractate derives its name. It was a peace-offering (cf. Lev. III,15) and was inferred from Lev.
XXIII, 41; v. infra 9a.
(15) A sixth of a denar, v. Glos.
(16) The word ‘ALL’ is emphatic’; it implies that persons who might be thought exempt are subject to the
commandment; hence the question.
(17) E.g., he belonged to two masters, and was freed by one of them.
(18) Lit., ‘became straight’ (in limb).
(19) I.e.,the seven individual days of the festival.
(20) I.e., if a man was unfit to bring his sacrifices on the first day of the festival (e.g.,if he was exempt on account of
lameness) and during the festival he became fit (i.e., regained the use of his leg), it is his duty to make good his
sacrificial dues on the day of the festival that he becomes fit.
(21) I.e., if he was unfit on the first day, he is completely exempt, though he becomes fit in the course of the festival.
(22) Probably the name means, ‘Goldsmith’.
(23) Or, according to Tosaf. (v. p. 1, n. 1), ‘exempt from bringing the pilgrimage- offering’; and so wherever the
translation has ‘appearing’.
(24) Ex. XXIII, 17.
(25) vtrh may be vocalised vtrh (Kal, ‘He will see’) or following the Massorah, vtrh (Nif'al, ‘He will be seen,
appear); cf. Gen. XXII, 14. By combining both readings, it is deduced that the ‘seeing’ and ‘being seen’ must be alike in
regard to fulness of vision i.e., in regard to the use of both eyes: just as God comes to see the pilgrim with both eyes (an
anthropomorphism for full vision necessitated by the desired parallel in respect to man), so when the pilgrim comes to
appear before God, he must be able to see with both eyes. So Rashi: but R. Tam (in Tosaf. a.l.) prefers to make man the
subject, and construes thus; vtrh,vtrh just as the pilgrim is seen by God, Who has two eyes (i.e., full vision), so
he must see Him (i.e., appear in the Divine presence) with both eyes.
(26) I.e., that the word all comes to include a half-slave.
(27) I.e., the statement that unfreed slaves are exempt from visiting the Temple, which Rabina interprets as inferring
such as are half free.
(28) I.e., the Mishnah as it was formulated before the School of Hillel (whose ruling was authoritative against that of the
Shammaite School cf. Ber. 36b and Gratz, vol. IV, p. 424, n. 4; Heb. edn. vol. II, p. 172, n. 1) came over to the view of
the School of Shammai.vbuatr vban (rendered, ‘the earlier Mishnah’) may refer either (a) to a single previous
ruling later revised, or (b) to an entire compilation of the Mishnah, in which case it may be rendered, ‘the first Mishnah’;
cf. J.E. vol. VIII, P. 610f, and refs.
(29) V. note 4.
(30) I.e., representing the later opinion of the School of Hillel. Though this second opinion contradicts the first, the
earlier ruling was not erased from the Mishnah, on the principle that a Mishnah (ruling) which had once been taught was
not to be removed from its place; cf. Yeb. 30a et passim.
Talmud - Mas. Chagigah 2b
You have made it right for his master,1 but you have not made it right for himself2 He may not marry
a bondwoman, nor may he marry a freewoman.3 Should he abstain [from marriage]? But then was
not the world created only for propagation?4 as it is said:5 ‘He created it not a waste, He formed it to
be inhabited’. For the sake of the social order,6 therefore, his master must be compelled to set him
free, and the latter must give him a bond for the half of his value. Thereupon Beth Hillel retracted
and gave their ruling in accordance with the view of Beth Shammai.
EXCEPT A DEAF MAN [HERESH], AN IMBECILE AND A MINOR etc. [Our Mishnah]
speaks of HERESH similarly as of the IMBECILE and MINOR: just as the IMBECILE and MINOR
lack understanding, so HERESH [means] one that lacks understanding. This teaches us in
accordance with that which we have learnt:7 ‘Wherever the Sages speak of HERESH,8 [it means]
one who can neither hear nor speak.9 This [would imply] that he who can speak but not hear,10 hear
but not speak is obligated.11 We have [thus] learnt that which our Rabbis taught.12 One who can
speak but not hear is termed HERESH: one who can hear but not speak is termed Illem [dumb]; both
of these are deemed sensible in all that relates to them. And whence [is it deduced] that one who can
speak but not hear is termed Heresh, and one who can hear but not speak is termed ‘Illem? — For it
is written: But I am as Heresh [a deaf man], I hear not,’ and I am as Illem [a dumb man] that openeth
not his mouth.13 Alternatively, I could explain: As people say, 14 His words have been taken away.15
‘One that can speak but not hear, hear but not speak is obligated’. But surely it is taught: One that
can speak but not hear, hear but not speak is exempt!16 — Said Rabina, and according to others,
Raba: [Our Mishnah] is defective and should read thus: All are bound to appear [at the Temple] and
to rejoice,17 except a Heresh that can speak but not hear, [or] hear but not speak, who is exempt from
appearing [at the Temple];18 but though he is exempt from appearing, he is bound to rejoice. One,
however, that can neither hear nor speak,19 an imbecile and a minor are exempt even from rejoicing,
since they are exempt from all the precepts stated in the Torah,20 Likewise it is also taught: All are
bound to appear [at the Temple] and to rejoice, except a Heresh that can speak but not hear, [or] hear
but not speak, who is exempt from appearing; but though he is exempt from appearing
(1) I.e., he gets the full benefit of his half-ownership.
(2) R. Meshullam (in Tosaf.) prefers the opposite reading. ‘You have made it right for himself, but you have not made it
right at all for his master’; because the latter loses any possible share of the offspring.
(3) Being partly a freedman he may not marry a slave; being partly a slave he may not marry a freewoman; v. Deut.
XXIII, 18 and Targum Onkelos a.l.
(4) Lit., ‘for fruitfulness and multiplication’, cf. Gen. I, 28.
(5) Isa. XLV, 18.
(6) Lit., ‘for the sake of the establishment (or improvement) of the world’; cf Git. IV, 2, 3, where Danby renders; ‘as a
precaution for the general good’.
(7) Ter. I, 2.
(8) I.e., together with the Imbecile and Minor.
(9) Tosaf. quotes and explains exceptions to this rule: cf. Meg. 19b and Hul. 2a.
(10) E.g., he was able to hear when born and learnt to speak, but later became deaf.
(11) I.e., to fulfil the precept of appearing at the Temple.
(12) I.e., our Mishnah supports and thus gives validity to the following Baraitha. (11) This statement agrees, by
implication, with our Mishnah, which puts only a deaf-mute in the same category as an imbecile.
(13) Ps. XXXVIII, 14.
(14) I.e., a popular proverb; v. J.E vol X, p. 226f.
(15) I.e., okt (‘dumb’) is an abbreviation of vhkikn khe,at (‘his words have been taken away’).
(16) I.e., from visiting the Temple; thus the Baraitha contradicts our Mishnah.
(17) V. Deut. XVI, 14. Ritually the rejoicing took the form of a sacrificial meal of peace-offerings; cf. infra 8b and Pes.
(18) And from bringing the accompanying burnt-offering.
(19) I.e.,the Heresh of our Mishnah. Thus the fully worded Mishnah would refer to two kinds of Heresh: (a) the partial
Heresh that can either speak or hear, who must ‘rejoice’, though he is exempt from visiting the Temple; (b) the complete
Heresh, who is exempt from both.
(20) Torah primarily refers to the Pentateuch, but also has a wider meaning, which includes the whole Bible and even the
entire range of Jewish teaching, both study and practice.
Talmud - Mas. Chagigah 3a
he is bound to rejoice. One, however, that can neither hear nor speak, an imbecile and a minor are
exempt even from rejoicing, since they are exempt from all the precepts stated in the Torah. Why is
it that in regard to appearing they are exempt, and in regard to rejoicing they are obligated? With
regard to appearing, it is deduced by forming an analogy between the expressions for appearing1
from [the section] ‘Assemble’,2 for it is written: Assemble the people, the men and the women and
the little ones;3 and it is [further] written: When all Israel is come to appear.4 But whence is it
deduced for the latter?5 — For it is written: That they may hear and that they may learn.3 And it is
taught: ‘That they may hear’, [this] excludes one that can speak but not hear; ‘and that they may
learn’, [this] excludes one that can hear but not speak. Does this then mean to say that one that
cannot talk cannot learn? But behold there were two dumb men in the neighbourhood of Rabbi, sons
of the daughter of R. Johanan b. Gudgada, and according to others, sons of the sister of R. Johanan,
who, whenever Rabbi entered the College, went in and sat down [before him], and nodded their
heads and moved their lips. And Rabbi prayed for them6 and they were cured,7 and it was found that
they were versed in Halachah,8 Sifra,9 Sifre10 and the whole Talmud!11 Said Mar Zutra, Read, That
they may teach.12 R. Ashi said: Assuredly it is [to be read]: That they may teach.13 For if you
suppose [that it should be read]: That they may learn, and [argue that] if one cannot talk one cannot
learn (and [obviously] if one cannot hear one cannot learn),14 that follows from [the expression]:
That they may hear.15 Therefore, it must certainly be [read]: That they may teach.16
R. Tanhum said: One that is deaf in one ear is exempt from appearing [at the Temple], for it is
said: In their ears.17 But [this expression], ‘in their ears’,is required [to teach that it18 must be] in the
ears of all Israel!19 — That can be deduced from [the expression],20 ‘before all Israel’. But if [it were
deduced] from [the expression] ‘before all Israel’, I might say: Even though they did not hear;21
therefore it is written in the Divine Law:22 in their ears,’ they must be able to hear!23 — That call be
deduced from [the expression], in order that they may hear.24
R. Tanhum said: One that is lame in one foot is exempt from appearing [at the Temple], as it is
said: Regalim [on foot].25 But this [word] Regalim is required to exclude people with wooden legs!
— That follows from [the word] Pe'amim [steps].26 For it is taught: ‘Pe'amim’; ‘Pe'amim’ means
only feet;27 and thus it is said: The foot shall tread it down, even the feet of the poor, and the steps of
[pa'ame]28 the needy.29 And it further says: How beautiful are thy steps [pe'amayik] in sandals, O
Raba expounded: What is the meaning of the verse: ‘How beautiful are thy steps in sandals, O
prince's daughter’. [It means:] How comely are the feet of Israel when they go up on the festival
pilgrimage. ‘Prince's daughter’: [means] daughter of Abraham our father, who is called prince, as it
is said: The princes of the peoples are gathered together, the people of the God of Abraham.31 ‘The
God of Abraham’, and not the God of Isaac and Jacob? [It must mean], therefore, the God of
Abraham, who was the first of the Proselytes.32
R. Kahana said: R. Nathan b. Minyomi expounded in the name of R. Tanhum:33 What is the
meaning of the verse: And the pit was empty, there was no water in it?34 Since it says that the pit
was empty, would I not know that there was no water in it? [It must mean] therefore, there was no
water in it, but there were in it snakes and scorpions.
Our Rabbis taught: Once R. Johanan b. Beroka and R. Eleazar Hisma35 went to pay their respects
to R. Joshua at Peki'in.36 Said he to them: What new teaching was there at the College to-day? They
replied: We are thy disciples and thy waters do we drink.37 Said he to them: Even so, it is impossible
for a college session to pass without some novel teaching. Whose Sabbath38 was it? — It was the
Sabbath of R. Eleazar b. ‘Azariah, [they replied].-And what was the theme of his Haggadic39
discourse to-day? They answered: The section ‘Assemble’.40 And what exposition did he give
thereon? ‘Assemble the people the men and the women and the little ones’. If the men came to learn,
the women came to hear,41 but wherefore have the little ones to come? In order to grant reward42 to
those that bring them. Said he to them: There was a fair Jewel in your hand, and you sought to
deprive me of it.
He further expounded: Thou hast avouched the Lord this day . . . and the Lord has avouched thee
this day.43 The Holy One, blessed be He, said to Israel: You have made me a unique object of your
love44 in the world, and I shall make you a unique object of My love in the world.45 You have made
me a unique object of your love, as it is written: Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One.46
And I shall make you a unique object of My love, as it is said:
(1) I.e., vtrh (‘shall appear’) in Ex. XXIII, 17 and ,utrk (‘to appear’) in Deut. XXXI, 11.
(2) Deut. XXXI, 10-13. The name is derived from the introductory word in the verse that follows.
(3) Deut. XXXI, v. 12.
(4) Ibid. v.11
(5) I.e., how do we know that a Heresh that can hear or speak is exempt from the precept referred to in Deut. XXXI,
(6) Lit., ‘he besought (God's) mercy on this behalf’.
(7) On the efficacy of prayer, v. J.E. vol. X, pp. 168-169.
(8) vfkv from lkv ‘to go, follow’, means literally ‘going’, ‘walking’ then figuratively: ‘the teaching which one
follows, the rule or state by which one is guided,the categorical religious law’, (H. L. Strack, Intro. to the Talmud, p. 6 ¤
7: v. whole section and refs.). The last meaning applies here. Cf. also the refs. to Halachah in R. T. Herford's The
Pharisees, esp. Ch. III. V. Glos.
(9) ‘The Book’, also called Torath Kohanim (‘Law of the Priests’) is a halachic Midrash on Leviticus.
(10) hrpx or more fully, cr hcs hrpx (‘the Books of the School of Rab’) is a halachic Midrash on Numbers
(commencing with Ch. 5) and on Deut. V. Glos.
(11) x"a Lit., ‘six orders’ into which the Mishnah, and consequently the Talmud, which is the commentary on it, is
divided. [MS.M. reads, ‘Talmud’].
(12) I.e., usnkh (Pi'el) for usnkh (Kal). Such textual changes are not to be regarded as serious Biblical emendations,
but as part of the exegetical method of the Rabbis for the purpose of halachic and Haggadic deduction.
(13) I.e., quite apart from the instance of the two dumb scholars, it can be proved that teach is the right reading.
(14) [MS.M. omits bracketed words which, in fact, are superfluous].
(15) The underlying reason for excluding the deaf is their inability to learn. If now you suppose that the dumb cannot
learn, their exclusion can be inferred from the expression, ‘that they may hear’, which excludes the deaf, and similarly
the dumb, and the words ‘that they may learn’ are superfluous.
(16) And the inference that a dumb person cannot learn falls away.
(17) Deut. XXXI, 11. The plural indicates that those present must be able to hear with both ears; and by analogy (v.
supra p. 5, n. 9) we apply this rule also to the law of Ex. XXIII, 17.
(18) The public reading referred to in the section ‘Assemble’ (v. p. 5, n. 10); cf. Sot. 41a.
(19) I.e., in their hearing.
(20) Deut. ibid.
(21) I.e., were too far away; not that they were deaf.
(22) Lit., ‘The Merciful One wrote’, i.e., God revealed through Scripture. V. Bacher, Exeg. Term. II, 207f.
(23) This expression, therefore, cannot be used for the inference that a person deaf in one ear is exempt.
(24) Ibid. v. 12. Thus ‘in their ears’ is available for R. Tanhum's teaching.
(25) Ex. XXIII, 14. V. supra p. 5, n. 10. The word is probably read here ohkdr (dual): the pilgrim must have use of
(26) Ex. XXIII, 17. ohngp E.V. ‘times’ (cf. supra p. 1, n. 11) is here understood in its root meaning of ‘steps’, i.e.,
only those having their own legs must visit the Temple.
(27) I.e., natural as opposed to artificial feet.
(28) hngp (steps) being parallel to hkdr (feet) must mean the same as the latter.
(29) Isa. XXVI, 6.
(30) Cant. VII, 2. The word sandals is additional evidence that ohngp refers to natural feet.
(31) Ps. XLVII, 10.
(32) ‘Prince’ (chsb) means lit., ‘one who offers himself willingly’ i.e., for God's service. Abraham was the first to
confess and worship the Lord, and the reference to the ‘princes, the peoples’ is to the proselytes who, like Abraham,
offer themselves to the service of God.
(33) The name of R. Tanhum is the link between the preceding and the following exposition.
(34) Gen. XXXVII, 24.
(35) In Tr. Soferim the reading is Eleazar b. Hisma. For the cognomen which is not adjectival (i.e., ‘muzzled’) but
locative (prob. a native of Hismeh’) v. J.E. Vol. V, p. 99.
(36) Also Beki'in, modern Fukin, in S. Palestine between Lydda and Jabneh (Jast.). It was customary for pupils to visit
their teacher on holy days; cf. R.H. 16b.
(37) I.e., disciples may not speak before their teacher (Rashi); or we cannot possibly have anything to teach you.
(38) R. Gamaliel used to lecture on two (or three) Sabbaths and R. Eleazar b. ‘Azariah on the third (or fourth) v. Ber.
(39) Haggadah (vsdv), a nomen actionis of shdv (to tell), denotes all scriptural interpretation which is non-halachic
(i.e., non-legal) in character (H. L. Strack). V. Glos.
(40) V. supra p. 5, n. 10.
(41) But not to study it fully; cf. J.T., Sot. III, 4. For the status of the woman in Judaism v. J.E. vol. XII, p. 556.
(42) For the Rabbinic conception of reward v. R. T. Herford, op. cit. pp. 123-24, 127-120.
(43) Deut. XXVI, 17-18.
(44) ,jt vchyj Jast. ‘the only object of your love’ (from root meaning ‘to fall in love, woo’); Levy, ‘Herrscher’
(ruler) comparing it, according to Bacher, with Pers. ‘Khedive’; Goldschmidt, ‘Verherrlichung’ (glorification); Rashi,
‘sole or unique object of praise’; Aruch, in the name of R. Hai Gaon, ‘Unique concept’ (,jt ruhm); Maharsha
(quoting Rashi to Deut. XXVI, 17) ‘separation. (from root meaning ‘to hew’).
(45) Aruch reads: ‘in this world . . . in the world to come’.
(46) Deut. VI, 4. For different renderings of this verse v. I. Abrahams, A companion to the Auth. Daily Prayer Book, p.
Talmud - Mas. Chagigah 3b
And who is like unto Thy people Israel, a nation one in the earth.1 And he2 also took up the text and
expounded: The words of the wise are as goads, and as nails well planted are the words of masters of
Assemblies, which are given from one Shepherd.3
Why are the words of the Torah4 likened to a goad? To teach you that just as the goad directs the
heifer along its furrow in order to bring forth life to the world, so the words of the Torah direct those
who study them from the paths of death to the paths of life. But [should you think] that just as the
goad is movable so the words of the Torah are movable;5 therefore the text says: ‘nails’.
But [should you think] that just as the nail diminishes6 and does not increase, so too the words of
the Torah diminish and do not increase; therefore the text says: ‘well planted’; just as a plant grows
and increases, so the words of the Torah grow and increase.
‘The masters of assemblies’: these are the disciples of the wise, who sit in manifold assemblies
and occupy themselves with the Torah, some pronouncing unclean and others pronouncing clean,
some prohibiting and others permitting, some disqualifying7 and others declaring fit.
Should a man say: How in these circumstances shall I learn Torah?8 Therefore the text says: ‘All
of them are given from one Shepherd’. One God gave them;9 one leader10 uttered them from the
mouth of the Lord of all creation, blessed be He; for it is written: ‘And God spoke all these words’.11
Also do thou make thine ear like the hopper12 and get thee a perceptive heart to understand the
words of those who pronounce unclean and the words of those who pronounce clean, the words of
those who prohibit and the words of those who permit, the words of those who disqualify and the
words of those who declare fit. He [then] spoke to them13 in the following words: It is not an orphan
generation in which R. Eleazar b. ‘Azariah lives. But they could have told him directly!14 — It was
on account of a certain occurrence. For it is taught: Once R. Jose b. Durmaskith15 went to pay his
respects to R. Eliezer at Lod.16 Said the latter to him: What new thing was taught in College today?
He replied: They decided by vote that in Ammon and Moab17 the tithe of the poor should be given in
the seventh year.18 Said [R. Eliezer] to him: Jose, stretch forth thine hands and lose thy sight.19 He
stretched forth his hands and lost his sight. R. Eliezer [then] wept and said: The counsel of the Lord
is with them that fear Him,’ and His covenant, to make them know it.20 He [then] said to him: Go,
say to them: Be not concerned about your voting,21 thus have I received a tradition from Rabban22
Johanan b. Zakkai, who heard [it] from his teacher, and his teacher from his teacher, that it is a
halachah of Moses from Sinai23 that in Ammon and Moab the tithe of the poor is to be given in the
seventh year. What is the reason? — Many cities were conquered by those who came up from Egypt,
which were not conquered by those who came up from Babylon; since the first consecration24 held
[only] for the time,25 but did not hold for the future [permanently],26 therefore they were left27 in
order that the poor might be sustained upon them in the seventh year. It is taught: When his mind
was calmed, he said: May it be granted that Jose's sight be restored. 28 And it was restored.
Our Rabbis taught: Who is [deemed] an imbecile? He that goes out alone at night29 and he that
spends the night in a cemetery, and he that tears his garments. It was taught: R. Huna said: They
must all be [done] together.30 R. Johanan said: Even if [he does only] one of them. What is the case?
If he does them in an insane manner, even one is also [proof]. If he does not do them in an insane
manner, even all of them [prove] nothing? — Actually [it is a case where] he does them in an insane
manner. But if he spent the night in a cemetery, I might say: He did [it] in order that the spirit of
impurity might rest upon him.31 If he went out alone at night, I might say: He was seized by
lycanthropy.32 If he tore his garment, I might say: He was lost in thought. But as soon as he does
(1) I Chron. XVII, 21; for thought, cf. Midrash quoted in Tosaf. a.l.
(2) I.e., according to Rashi, R. Eleazar b. ‘Azariah; but according to Maharsha and Goldschmidt, R. Joshua.
(3) Eccl. XII, 11.
(4) The ‘words of the wise’ are identified with ‘the words of the Torah’.
(5) I.e., unstable and of impermanent authority.
(6) The nail driven into the wall makes a hole.
(7) To act as witness, or as priest.
(8) I.e., in view of the contradictory opinions held by the scholars.
(9) I.e., the various opinions do not emanate from different ‘Revelations’, but have their origin in the One Torah, given
by the One God. Cf. Tanhuma to Num. XIX, 2, section 8; and ref. to Moses and Akiba Men. 29b.
(10) I.e., Moses. The term ‘Shepherd’ (vgr) is applied in the Bible both to God (e.g., Gen. XLVIII, 15; Ps. LXXX, 2)
and to Moses (e.g., Isa. LXIII, 11). Maharsha.
(11) Ex. XX, 1.
(12) ,xfrpt According to Jast. from root xfrp (to rub, grind), itself an extension of root lrp (to break).
According to Levy, from the Greek. The hopper, being funnel-shaped, more enters it than issues from it, i.e., hear all
views, and then sift them and accept the true.
(13) I.e., R. Joshua to his two disciples.
(14) I.e., why did they at first evade R. Joshua's request by saying: We are thy disciples etc.?
(15) I.e., woman of Damascus.
(16) Cf. I Chron. VIII, 12; afterwards Lydda and later Diospolis, near Joppa.
(17) According to Rashi, that part of Ammon and Moab which was subjugated by Sihon and Og, and later was captured
from them by the Israelites (v. Num. XXI, 21-35. and Hul. 60b). But according to R. Tam (in Tosaf.), it refers to the rest
of Ammon and Moab, not conquered by Sihon and Og.
(18) In Transjordania, which did not possess the sanctity of Palestine proper, the land did not have to be fallow in the
seventh year (cf. Lev. XXV, 2f). Accordingly, the Rabbis ordained that the tithe of the poor, although given the
preceding year, should again be given in the seventh year. V. Deut. XIV, 28-29 and Sifre a.l.; cf. also Lev. XXIII, 22 and
Deut. XXIV, 19.
(19) Lit., ‘receive thine eyes’, a euphemism. He was vexed because R. Jose ascribed an old traditional law to the
particular session in his college.
(20) Ps. XXV, 14.
(21) I.e., have no scruples concerning it.
(22) Lit., ‘our teacher’, the honorific title of several descendants of Hillel, and of R. Johanan b. Zakkai.
(23) A statute in immemorial usage. V. Strack, op. cit., p. 9 and nn. 17-21.
(24) I.e., under Joshua: the territory conquered by Israel became holy.
(25) I.e., till the first exile.
(26) But the territory occupied by those who returned from Babylon was consecrated for ever.
(27) I.e., Ammon and Moab were left unconsecrated after the Babylonian captivity.
(28) Lit., ‘that Jose's eyes may return to their place’.
(29) Cf. Aboth III, 4.
(30) I.e., a person is not considered legally an imbecile till he performs all the above mentioned acts together. [Var. lec.
rightly omit together’].
(31) I.e., he did it with full understanding for the purpose of conjuring up evil spirits for magical purposes (Rash); or to
receive communications from them, cf. LXX in Isa. LXV, 4 (A. W. Streane).
(32) xuphrsbd corruption of the Grk. ** or ** sub **: German, Wolfsmuth.
Talmud - Mas. Chagigah 4a
he becomes like [an ox] who gored an ox, an ass and a camel, and becomes [thereby] a mu'ad
[forewarned gorer]1 in regard to all [animals]. R. Papa said: If R. Huna had heard of that which is
taught: Who is [deemed] an imbecile? ‘One that destroys all that is given to him’; he would have
retracted.2 The question was raised: When he would have retracted, would he have retracted only
with regard to the [case of the] man who tore his garment, because it resembles this [case];3 or would
he have retracted with regard to all of them?4 — It remains [undecided].
A PERSON OF UNKNOWN SEX [TUMTUM], A HERMAPHRODITE etc.: Our Rabbis taught:
[The word] ‘males’5 [by itself] comes to exclude women;6 [the expression]. ‘thy males’, comes to
exclude the tumtum and hermaphrodite; ‘all thy males’ comes to include minors.
The Master said: [The word] ‘males’ comes to exclude women. But why do I need a verse for
this? Consider: it is a positive precept dependent on a fixed time, and women are exempt from every
positive precept dependent on a fixed time!7 — It is needed. You might say: We can make a
deduction by forming an analogy between the expressions for appearing, from [the section]
‘Assemble’:8 just as there women are obligated. so here women are obligated; it therefore teaches us
[that it is not so].
The Master said: [The expression]. ‘thy males’, comes to exclude a tumtum and a hermaphrodite.
Granted that with regard to the hermaphrodite it is necessary [for Scripture to exclude him]. You
might say that since he has a male aspect, he is obligated; it therefore teaches us that he is sui
generis.9 But the tumtum is a dubious case;10 is a Biblical text required to exclude a dubious case?11
— Said Abaye: [It is required for the case] where his testicles are outside. 12
The Master said: [The expression], ‘all thy males’, comes to include minors. But we have learnt:
EXCEPT AN IMBECILE AND A MINOR! — Said Abaye: There is no contradiction. The one case
[speaks] of a minor who is old enough to be initiated,13 the other of a minor who is not old enough to
be initiated. But a minor who is old enough to be initiated is obligated only by Rabbinic
enactment!14 — Yes, it is so; and the Biblical text is merely a support.15 What then is the purpose of
the Biblical text?16 — To intimate the teaching of ‘Others’.17 For it is taught: Others say: The
scraper.18 the copper-smith19 and the tanner are exempt from appearing [at the Temple], for it is said:
‘All thy males’: he that is able to go up [on the pilgrimage] with all thy males. These, therefore, are
excluded, because they are not fit20 to go up with all thy males.
WOMEN AND UNFREED SLAVES etc.: Granted as regards women, as we have said;21 but as
regards slaves, whence do we deduce [their exemption]? — Said R. Huna: Scripture says: before the
Lord, God:22 [this means] one that has one Lord; this one,23 therefore, is excluded because he has
another lord.24 But why do I need a Biblical intimation for this? Consider: every precept which is
obligatory on a woman is obligatory on a slave; every precept which is not obligatory on a woman is
not obligatory on a slave; for this is deduced by analogy from [the case of] the woman, through the
double occurrence of [the expression] unto her.25 Said Rabina: It26 is needed only for [the exemption
of] one that is half a slave and half a freedman!27 This can also be proven; for [the Mishnah] speaks
of WOMEN AND UNFREED SLAVES. What is meant by unfreed? Should I say that it means
entirely unfreed, then it should simply say, ‘Slaves’! Surely, therefore [it must mean] slaves that
have not been completely freed. And who are such? Those that are half slaves and half freedmen.
THE LAME, THE BLIND, THE SICK, THE AGED: Our Rabbis taught: ‘Regalim’ [on foot]:28
this excludes people with wooden legs. Another interpretation:29 Regalim: this excludes the lame,
the sick, the blind, the aged, and one that cannot go up on foot. ‘And one that cannot go up on foot’:
What does this come to include? — Said Raba: It comes to include
(1) Lit., ‘forewarned’; an animal whose owner stands forewarned and consequently liable to full indemnity on account of
three successive injuries (V. Ex. XXI, 36).
(2) I.e., he would have considered this action by itself as proof of imbecility.
(3) I.e., the case of the man who destroys whatever is given to him.
(4) I.e., he would have agreed entirely with R. Johanan's view.
(5) In the phrase ‘all thy males’. Ex. XXIII, 17.
(6) I.e., from obligation to visit the Temple; v. Mishnah, p. 1.
(7) The exemption of women from the performance of these precepts is not due to any inferiority of status, but to
delicate consideration for their physical nature; cf. also Kid. 29a and 34af.
(8) V. supra p. 5, n. 10. This law likewise is dependent on a fixed time.
(9) And to be excluded.
(10) Even more dubious than that of the hermaphrodite, because the sexual organs of the former are concealed. Thus the
tumtum may be a female and quite exempt from appearing at the Temple.
(11) It would in any case be exempt because obligation could not be proven. For another explanation and reading v.
Tosaf. a.l., and Maharsha.
(12) And only the membrum is hidden: being certain of the sex, we might think that he is bound to appear; Scripture
therefore prevents this conclusion.
(13) V. Mishnah p. 1, n. 9.
(14) And not by Biblical injunction; therefore the verse cannot refer to this case.
(15) I.e., a confirmation; or perhaps a mnemotechnical aid.
(16) I.e., the word ‘all’; for there are no superfluous expressions in the Bible.
(17) I.e., R. Meir, who is quoted under this term subsequent to the unsuccessful conspiracy by R. Nathan and himself
against Rabban Simon b. Gamaliel; v. Hor. 13b.
(18) V. Keth. 77a, where this word (.nen) is explained as (a) one that collects dog's excrements (used, according to
Rashi ibid., for steeping clothes prior to laundering, and according to Rashi here, for preparing cordwain); (b) a tanner
on a small scale, in contr. to hxruc a tanner on a large scale.
(19) Explained ibid. as (a) a kettle-smith; (b) one that digs copper in the shaft.
(20) On account of the malodour resulting from these occupations.
(21) V. supra p. 13.
(22) Ex. XXIII, 17.
(23) I.e., the slave.
(24) I.e.,a human master in addition to his Divine Master.
(25) V. Deut. XXIV, 3 (of the woman), and Lev. XIX, 20 (of the bondwoman).
(26) I.e., the Biblical intimation.
(27) This is in accordance with ‘the earlier Mishnah’ (v. supra p. 3, nn. 6, 8), but according to ‘the later Mishnah’, the
master is compelled to free the half slave, who is then bound to appear at the Temple.
(28) V. p. 7, n. 11.
(29) The first interpretation is not quite satisfactory, because the exclusion of people with wooden legs can be deduced
from ohngp in Ex. XXIII, 17; cf. p. 7. n. 12.
Talmud - Mas. Chagigah 4b
a delicate person.1 For it is written: When ye come to appear before Me, who hath required this at
your hand, to trample2 My courts?3
A Tanna taught: The uncircumcised4 and the unclean5 are exempt from [bringing] the
pilgrimage-offering.6 Granted as regards the unclean, for it is written: And thither thou shalt come,’
and thither ye shall bring.7 To whomever ‘coming’ applies, ‘bringing’ applies; to whomever
‘coming’ does not apply, ‘bringing’ does not apply. But whence do we derive [the exemption of] the
uncircumcised? — This will be according to R. Akiba, who includes the uncircumcised like the
unclean. For it is taught: R. Akiba said: [the expression], what man soever,8 comes to include
Our Rabbis taught: An unclean person is exempt from [bringing] the pilgrimage-offering, for it is
written: ‘And thither thou shalt come; and thither ye shall bring’. To whomever ‘coming’ applies
‘bringing’ applies; to whomever ‘coming’ does not apply ‘bringing’ does not apply. R. Johanan b.
Dahabai said in the name of R. Judah: A person who is blind in one eye is exempt from appearing [at
the Temple]. for it is said: Yir'eh10 [He shall see], Yera'eh [He shall be seen]; just as He comes to
see, so He comes to be seen; as He comes to see with both eyes. so also to be seen with both eyes.
R. Huna, when he came to this verse, Yir'eh, Yera'eh,11 wept. He said: The slave whom his Master
longs to see should become estranged from him! For it is written: When ye come to appear12 before
Me, who hath required this at your hand, to trample My courts? 13
R. Huna, when he came to the [following] verse, wept: And thou shalt sacrifice peace-offerings,
and shalt eat there.14 The slave at whose table his Master longs to eat should become estranged from
him! For it is written: To what purpose is the abundance of your sacrifices unto Me? saith the
R. Eleazar, when he came to the [following] verse, wept: And his brethren could not answer him,
for they were affrighted at his presence.16 Now if the rebuke of flesh and blood be such, how much
more so the rebuke of the Holy One, blessed be He!
R. Eleazar, when he came to the [following] verse, wept: And Samuel said to Saul: Why hast thou
disquieted me, to bring14 me up?17 Now if Samuel, the righteous, was afraid of the Judgment, how
much more so should we be! How do we know this about Samuel?18 — For it is written: And the
woman said unto Saul: I see godlike beings coming up out of the earth.19 ‘Coming up’20 implies two:
one was Samuel, but [who was] the other? Samuel went and brought Moses with him, Saying to him:
Perhaps, Heaven forfend,21 I am summoned to Judgment: arise with me,22 for there is nothing that
thou hast written in the Torah, which I did not fulfil.
R. Ami, when he came to the [following] verse, wept: Let him put his mouth in the dust, perhaps
there may be hope.23 He said: All this, and [only] perhaps!24
R. Ami, when he came to the [following] verse, wept: Seek righteousness, seek humility, perhaps
ye shall be hid in the day of the Lord's anger.25 He said: All this, and [only] perhaps!
R. Assi, when he came to the [following] verse, wept: Hate the evil, and love the good, and
establish justice in the gate, perhaps the Lord, the God of hosts, will be gracious.26 All this, and
R. Joseph, when he came to the [following] verse, wept: But there is that is swept away without
judgment.27 [He said]:28 Is there anyone who passes away before one's [allotted] time?29 — Yes, as
in the story [heard] by R. Bibi b. Abaye,30 who was frequently visited by the Angel of death. [Once]
the latter said to his messenger: Go, bring me Miriam, the women's hairdresser!31 He went and
brought him Miriam, the children's nurse. Said he to him:32 I told thee Miriam, the women's
hairdresser. He answered: If so, I will take her back. Said he to him: Since thou hast brought her, let
her be added.33 But how were you able to get her?34 She was holding a shovel in her hand and was
(1) I.e., one that cannot walk barefoot; and it is forbidden to walk on the sacred Temple Mount with covered feet.
(2) I.e., with shod feet.
(3) Isa. I, 12.
(4) I.e., a Jew that was not circumcised because two of his brothers had died as a result of their circumcision; cf. Shab.
134a and Yeb. 64b.
(5) Cf. Num. XIX, 20.
(6) They are exempt even from sending the offering by a messenger; cf. also p. 1, n. 1.
(7) Deut. XII, 5,6. The verse continues: Your burnt-offerings etc.
(8) Lev. XXII, 4.
(9) I.e., if he is a priest, he is prohibited from eating Terumah (i.e., the priest's share of crop or dough) like a priest who
has become unclean.
(10) Ex. XXIII, 17; v. p. 3, n. 3.
(11) Which implies (v. n. 1) that the Divine Master reciprocally comes to meet the human pilgrim.
(12) Lit., ‘to be seen’, as above.
(13) Isa. I, 12.
(14) Deut. XXVII, 7.
(15) Isa. I, 11.
(16) Gen. XLV, 3.
(17) I Sam. XXVIII, 15.
(18) I.e., that it was the Divine Judgment that he feared.
(19) Ibid. v. 13.
(20) Heb. ohkg which is plural. The deduction cannot be made from ohvkt (godlike beings) which is also plural in
form, because its meaning is generally singular, viz. God.
(21) Lit., ‘forbearance and peace.’
(22) I.e., to testify on my behalf.
(23) Lam. III, 29.
(24) I.e., after so much suffering, hope of salvation is only problematical.
(25) Zeph. 11,3.
(26) Amos V, 15.
(27) Prov. XIII, 23.
(28) Rashi and Tosaf. delete the words: the question is then asked by the Gemara.
(29) I.e., although the person has committed no sin to merit shortening of life.
(30) An occultist; cf. Ber. 6a where he performed an experiment with the object of seeing demons.
(31) Supposed by Tosaf. to be the Mother of Jesus; cf. Shab. 104b in the earlier uncensored editions. [Her description
megaddela (hairdresser) is connected by some with the name of Mary Magdalene whose name was confused with that of
Mary, the mother of Jesus, v. Herford R.T. Christianity in Talmud and Midrash, pp. 40f].
(32) I.e., the Angel of death to his messenger.
(33) I.e., to the dead.
(34) Since it was not yet her time to die.
Talmud - Mas. Chagigah 5a
and raking1 the oven. She took it and put it on her foot and burnt herself; thus her luck was impaired
and I brought her. Said R. Bibi b. Abaye to him2 : Have ye3 permission to act thus? He answered
him: Is it not written: ‘There is that is swept away without judgment’? He countered: But behold it is
written: One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh!4 He replied: I have charge of
them5 till they have completed the generation,6 and then I hand them over to Dumah!7 He [then]
asked him: But after all, what do you do with her years?8 He replied: If there be a Rabbinic scholar
who overlooks his hurt, I shall give them to him in her stead.9
R. Johanan, when he came to the [following] verse, wept: And thou didst incite Me against him, to
destroy him without cause.10 A slave whose Master, when they incite him yields,11 is there any help
R. Johanan, when he came to the [following] verse, wept: Behold, He putteth no trust in His holy
ones.12 If He does not put His trust in His holy ones, in whom will He put his trust? One day he was
going on a journey and saw a man gathering figs; he was leaving those that were ripe and was taking
those that were unripe. So he said to him: Are not those13 better? He replied: I need those for a
journey: these will keep, but the others will not keep. Said [R. Johanan] this is the meaning of the
verse: Behold He putteth no trust in His holy ones.14 But is it so? For behold there was a disciple In
the neighbourhood of R. Alexandri, who died in his youth, and [R. Alexandri] said: Had this scholar
wished, he could have lived!15 If now it be [as R. Johanan said] perhaps he was one of those of
whom it is said: ‘Behold He putteth no trust in His holy ones’! — That [scholar] was one who had
rebelled against his teachers!16
R. Johanan, when he came to the [following] verse, wept: And I will come near to you to
judgment and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against
false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages.17 A slave whose Master
brings him near to judge him, and hastens to testify against him, is there any remedy for him?
Rabban Johanan b. Zakkai said: Woe unto us that Scripture weighs against us light like grave
Resh Lakish19 said: Whoever wrests the judgment of the proselyte is as if he wrests the judgment
of the All-High, for it is said:20 And that turn aside the proselyte21 from his right: the consonants
[can be read]: And that turn Me aside.22
R. Hanina b. Papa said: Whoever does something [wrong] and repents of it, is forgiven at once,23
for It is said: And [that] fear not Me.24 But if they do fear Me, they are forgiven at once. R. Johanan,
when he came to the [following] verse, wept: For God shall bring every work into the judgment
concerning every hidden25 thing.26 A slave to whom his Master accounts errors27 as wilful offences,
is there any remedy for him? What is the meaning of, concerning every hidden thing? — Rab said:
This refers to one who kills a louse in the presence of his neighbour, so that he feels disgust thereat.
And Samuel said: This refers to one who spits in the presence of his neighbour so that he feels
disgust thereat. What is the meaning of, whether it be- good or whether it be — evil?28 — The
School of R. Jannai said: This refers to one who gives alms to a poor person publicly,29 like the story
of R. Jannai. He [once] saw a man give a zuz30 to a poor person publicly, so he said to him: It had
been better that you had not given him, than now that you have given him publicly and put him to
shame. The School of R. Shila said: This refers to one who gives alms to a woman secretly. for he
brings her into suspicion. Raba said: This refers to one who is in the habit of sending his wife on the
eve of the Sabbath meat that has not been cut up.31 But Raba [himself] used to send! — The daughter
of R. Hisda32 is different, for he was sure of her that she was an expert!33
R. Johanan, when he came to the [following] verse, wept: And it shall come to pass, when many
evils and troubles are come upon them.34 A slave whose Master brings many evils and troubles upon
him, is there any remedy for him? What is the meaning of ‘evils and troubles’?35 — Rab said: Evils
which become antagonists36 to each other, as for instance the [bites of] a wasp and a scorpion.37 And
Samuel said: This refers to one who furnishes money to the poor person [only] in the hour of his
extreme distress.38 Raba said: This is the meaning of the proverb, For [purchasing] provision a zuz is
not to be found, for hanging up [in the basket]39 it can be found.
Then My anger shall be kindled against them in that day, and I will forsake them, and I will hide
My face from them.40 R. Bardela b. Tabyumi said that Rab said: To whomever ‘hiding of the face’
does not apply is not one of them;41 to whomever [the words] and they shall be devoured42 does not
(1) I.e., raked the fire in (Jast.); Rashi: raked it out.
(2) I.e., the Angel of death.
(3) I.e., the Angel of death and his messenger.
(4) Eccl. I, 4; implying that every generation is complete.
(5) Lit., ‘shepherd them’.
(6) I.e., the years allotted to them.
(7) Lit., ‘Silence’, the Angel in charge of the dead.
(8) I.e., the remaining years which she should have continued to live.
(9) Cf. the ref. to Hezekiah in Yeb. 49a-50a.
(10) Job II, 3.
(11) Lit., ‘allows himself to be incited’.
(12) Job XV, 15.
(13) I.e., the ripe ones.
(14) I.e., God fears that the righteous, like the ripe figs, may later lose their excellence; hence they die young. Cf. Aboth
(15) I.e., if he had lived uprightly.
(16) Hence he could not have been one of the ‘holy ones’, and it was his sin that shortened his life. Cf. Kid. 33b on Eccl.
(17) Mal. III, 5.
(18) In the verse quoted, the grave crimes of sorcery and adultery, for which the penalty is death, are mentioned side by
side with the lighter offences of perjury and financial oppression.
(19) Abbrev. for R. Simon b. Lakish.
(21) E.V. ‘stranger’.
(22) hynu for hynu
(23) Cf. Yoma 85b-86a; also Shebu. 12b.
(25) I.e., unwitting errors.
(26) Eccl. XII, 14.
(27) I.e., even the slightest offence.
(28) Ibid. I.e., one is punished for the good as well as for the bad one does.
(29) An apparently good deed which is really bad.
(30) A silver coin, one fourth of a shekel, and equal to a denar (denarius). V. Glos.
(31) I.e., unporged meat, the forbidden fat, blood vessels etc. not having been removed. The nearness of the Sabbath
makes it a busy time for the housewife, who in her hurry may forget to porge the meat.
(32) I.e., Raba's wife, always referred to as R. Hisda's daughter.
(33) And would see that it was properly porged before the Sabbath.
(34) Deut. XXXI, 21.
(35) I.e., are they not synonymous?
(36) The Heb., ,urm, is the same as for ‘troubles’ above, and is used of the rival wives of one husband; cf. I Sam. I, 6.
(37) In A.Z. 28b we are told that hot water must be used for a wasp's bite and cold for a scorpion's; the reverse is
dangerous. When, therefore, both occur together there is no remedy.
(38) According to Rashi, this refers to Eccl. XII, 14 and is an example of an apparently good deed which is really bad;
for at an earlier stage the help rendered would have been of far greater and more enduring benefit. But according to
Tosaf. this is an explanation of Deut. XXXI, 21 and is an instance of added trouble, illustrated in the following proverb.
V. n. 9.
(39) t,hk,. Rashi renders: ‘food which one brings in a basket’, that is in time of distress; cf. Pes. III b. Tosaf.
translates: ‘when one is about to be hanged’, and explains thus: A man is threatened with execution unless he offers a
ransom; being poor, a small ransom would be accepted. But now the arrangement of a mortgage is offered him; this
serves only to aggravate his misfortune, for the ransom price is raised. A third explanation is given by Maharsha a.l.
(40) Deut. XXXI, 17.
(41) I.e., the Children of Israel.
Talmud - Mas. Chagigah 5b
is not one of them. Said the Rabbis to Raba: To [our] master ‘the hiding of the face’ does not apply,
and [the words] ‘And they shall be devoured’ do not apply! Said he to them: Do ye know then how
much I send secretly to the Court of King Shapur?1 Even so the Rabbis directed their eyes upon
him.2 Meanwhile the Court of King Shapur sent [men], who plundered him.3 He [then] said: This is
it that is taught: Rabban Simeon b. Gamaliel said: Wherever the Rabbis direct their eyes there is
either death or poverty.
And I will hide My face in that day.4 Raba said: Although I hide My face from them, I shall speak
to them5 in a dream.6 R. Joseph: said: His hand is stretched over us, as it is said: And I have covered
thee in the shadow of My hand.7
R. Joshua b. Hanania was [once] at the court of Caesar.8 A certain unbeliever9 showed him [by
gestures]: A people whose Lord has turned His face from them — He showed him [in reply]: His
hand is stretched over us. Said Caesar to R. Joshua: What did he show thee?-A people whose Lord
has turned His face from them. And I showed him: His hand is stretched over us.
They [then] said to the heretic:10 What didst thou show him?A people whose Lord has turned His
face from them. And what did he show thee? — I do not know. Said they: A man who does not
understand what he is being shown by gesture should hold converse in signs before the king! They
led him forth and slew him.
When the soul of R. Joshua b. Hanania was about to go to its rest, the Rabbis said to him: What
will become of us at the hands of the unbelievers? He answered them: Counsel is perished from the
children,11 their wisdom is vanished.12 So soon as counsel is perished from the children,13 the
wisdom of the peoples of the world is vanished.14 Or I may derive it from here: And he said: Let us
take our journey, and let us go, and I will go over against thee. 15
R. Ila was once walking up the stairs of the house of Rabbi b. Shila, when he heard a child reading
the verse: For, lo, He that formeth the mountains, and createth the wind, and declareth unto man
what his conversation was.16 He said: A slave Master declares to him his conversation, is there any
remedy for him? — What is the meaning of [the expression] ‘What his conversation was’? — Rab
said: Even the superfluous conversation17 between a man and his wife is declared to a person in the
hour of his death. But is it so? Now behold R. Kahana once lay down beneath the bed of Rab,18 and
he heard him converse and jest and perform his needs. [Thereupon] he said: The mouth of Rab is like
that of one who has not tasted any food.19 Said [Rab] to him: Kahana, get out, this is unseemly! —
There is no contradiction: In the one case [it is] where he has to procure her favour, in the other,
where he has no need to procure her favour.
But if ye will not hear it, My soul shall weep in secret for the pride.20 R. Samuel b. Inia said in the
name of Rab: The Holy One, blessed be He, has a place and its name is ‘Secret’. What is the
meaning of [the expression] ‘for the pride’?-R. Samuel b. Isaac said: For the glory21 that has been
taken from them and given to the nations of the world. R. Samuel b. Nahmani said: For the glory of
the Kingdom of Heaven.22 But is there any weeping in the presence of the Holy One, blessed be He?
For behold R. Papa said: There is no grief in the Presence23 of the Holy One blessed be He; for it is
said: Honour and majesty are before Him; strength and beauty are it20 His sanctuary!24 — There is
no contradiction; the one case [refers to] the inner chambers,25 the other case [refers to] the outer
chambers. But behold it is written: And in that day did the Lord, the God of Hosts, call to weeping
and to lamentation, and to baldness, and to girding with sackcloth!26 — The destruction of the
Temple is different, for even the angels of peace wept [over it]; for it is said: Behold for their altar27
they cried without; the angels of peace wept bitterly. 28
And mine eye shall drop tears and tears, and run down with tears, because the Lord's flock is
carried away captive.29 R. Eleazar said: Wherefore these three [expressions of] ‘tears’? One for the
first Temple, and one for the second Temple, and one for Israel, who have become exiled from their
place. But there are some who say: One for the neglect of [the study of] the Torah. This is all right
according to the view that [one] is for Israel, who have become exiled from their place: this agrees
with that which is written: ‘Because the Lord's flock is carried away captive’. But according to the
view that it was for the neglect of [the study of] the Torah, how do you explain [the text], ‘Because
the Lord's flock is carried away’? — Since Israel have become exiled from their place. you can have
no greater neglect of [the study of] the Torah than this.
Our Rabbis taught: Over three the Holy One, blessed be He, weeps every day: over him who is
able to occupy himself with [the study of] the Torah and does not; and over him who is unable to
occupy himself with [the study of] the Torah and does; and over a leader who domineers over the
Rabbi was once holding the Book of Lamentations and reading therein: when he came to the
verse, He hath cast down from heaven unto the earth,30 it fell from his hands. He said: From a roof
so high to a pit as deep!31
Rabbi and R. Hiyya were once going on a journey. When they came to a certain town, they said: If
there is a rabbinical scholar here, we shall go and pay him our respect. They were told: There is a
rabbinical scholar here32 and he is blind.33 Said R. Hiyya to Rabbi: Stay [here]; thou must not lower
thy princely dignity;34 I shall go and visit him. But [Rabbi] took hold of him and went with him.
When they were taking leave from him,35 he said to them: Ye have visited one who is seen but does
not see; may ye be granted to visit Him who sees but is not seen. Said [Rabbi to R. Hiyya]: If now [I
had hearkened to you] you would have deprived me of this blessing. They [then] said to him: From
whom didst thou hear this?36 -I heard it at a discourse of R. Jacob's. For R. Jacob of Kefar Hitya,37
used to visit his teacher every day. When he became old, the latter said to him: Let the master not
trouble himself since he is unable. He replied: Is it a small thing that is written concerning the
Rabbis? And he shall still live alway. he- shall not see the pit; when he seeth that wise man die.38
Now if he who sees wise men at their death shall live, how much more so [he who sees them] in their
R. Idi, the father of R. Jacob b. Idi, used to spend three months on his journey and one day at the
school;39 and the Rabbis called him ‘One day scholar’. So he became dispirited, and applied to
himself the verse: I am as one that is a laughing-stock to his neighbour etc.40 Said to him R. Johanan:
I beg of you. do not bring down punishment upon the Rabbis. R. Johanan then went forth to the
College and delivered the [following] exposition: Yet they seek Me day by day, and delight to know
My ways.41 Do they then seek Him by day, and do not seek Him by might? It comes to tell you.
therefore, that whoever studies the Torah even one day in the year, Scripture accounts it to him as
though he had studied the whole year through. And similarly in the case of punishment, for it is
written: After the number of the days in which you spied out the land.42 Did they then sin forty
years? Was it not forty days that they sinned? It must come to teach you, therefore, that whoever
commits transgression even one day in the year, Scripture accounts it to him as though he had
transgressed the whole year through.
WHO IS [IN THIS RESPECT DEEMED] A MINOR? WHOEVER IS UNABLE TO RIDE ON
HIS FATHER'S SHOULDERS etc. R. Zera demurred thereto:
(1) Also Sapor or Shapur II, son of Hormuzd, King of Persia C.E. 310-379. His accession preceded his birth; he warred
against Rome. V. Gibbon, CC. 18, 24, 25; cf. also Ber. 56a, B.B. 115b and Pes. 54a.
(2) I.e., in suspicion; elsewhere in anger. cf. Ber. 38a, Shab. 34b.
(3) I.e., seized his property.
(4) Deut. XXXI, 18.
(5) Lit., ‘to him’ as in Num. XII, 6.
(6) According to Rashi, the inference is drawn from ‘in that day’; but at night, in dreams, God would speak to them; cf.
ibid. Maharsha prefers this explanation: God would deny them His ‘face’, I.e., the direct communion of Moses which
was ‘mouth to mouth’, but He would still speak to them in dreams; cf. ibid. 6-7.
(7) Isa. LI, 16.
(8) I.e., Hadrian, v.J.E. vol. VII, pp. 290-292.
(9) xuruehpt. Levy and others derive it from ** Epicurus, an Epicurean; Maimonides and Jast. connect with Heb.
repv from rt. rep. A term applied to unbelievers generally, Jew or Gentile. MS.M.: ‘Min’ (v. next note), a Jewish
sectary, probably a Judeo-Christian. V. J.E. vol. I, pp. 665-666 and Vol. VIII, pp. 594-595.
(10) ihn, probably from meaning ‘species’, hence sectarian. V. preceding note
(11) Or ‘prudent’ (E.V.).
(12) Jer. XLIX, 7’ where it is a question.
(13) I.e.’ Children of Israel.
(14) I.e., the polemics of the unbelievers will cease. [A somewhat roundabout way of saying that the Jewish religion
would never want a defender so long as it was attacked’] Herford op. cit, p. 266.
(15) Gen. XXXIII, 12. I.e., Esau (Gentiles and unbelievers generally) will keep abreast of Jacob (Israelites), but not gain
advantage over him.
(16) Amos IV, 13. E.V. ‘thought’.
(17) The ‘jesting’ referred to in the following story.
(18) Not to spy. but to learn from the Master's conduct; v. Ber. 62a.
(19) I.e., he was ravenous in his desires like a newly-wed.
(20) Jer. XIII, 17.
(21) Lit., ‘pride’.
(22) Which suffers through Israel's downfall. Cf. Meg. 29 on Isa. II, 27, and Mekilta to Ex. XV, 2.
(23) Lit., ‘before’, a euphemism for ‘on the part of’.
(24) Ps. XCVI, 6.
(25) I.e.,in the innermost recesses called ‘Secret’ there is weeping, though outwardly (‘before him’ v. n. 4) there is no
sign of grief, only ‘Honour etc.’
(26) Isa. XXII, 12. ‘Call’ denotes publicly; grief, therefore, is to be found in ‘the outer chambers’!
(27) oktrt (E.V. ‘their valiant ones cried without’) is here connected with kthrt (Isa. XXIX, 1), ‘the altar
hearth’, Cf. Rashi to verse.
(28) Isa. XXXIII, 7.
(29) Jer. XIII, 17. E. V. ‘And mine eye shall weep sore and run down down etc.’
(30) Lam. II, 1.
(31) I.e., how great was Israel's downfall, for what could be higher than heaven and lower than earth!
(32) From root meaning ‘to learn’: lit., ‘one that has caught fire by associating with Rabbis’; cf. Aboth, II, 10 (Jastrow).
Or from root meaning ‘to gather, establish’ sc. halachoth (Levy).
(33) Lit., ‘Light of the eyes’, a ‘euphemism.
(34) Rabbi was the Nasi (‘Prince’) i.e., the president of the Sanhedrin.
(35) I.e., the blind scholar.
(36) I.e., that to visit a scholar is so meritorious.
(37) Perhaps Hattin (Robinson, Bibl. Researches, iii, 34.) N.W. of Tiberias. V. also Neubauer, Geog. du Talmud, p. 207.
(38) Ps. XLIX, 10, 11.
(39) It took him six months to travel to the school and back; in order to be with his family for the festivals of Passover
(essentially a home festival) and Tabernacles (cf. Deut. XVI, 14) he was able to remain at the school only one day.
(40) Job XII, 4.
(41) Isa. LVIII, 2.
(42) Num. XIV, 34. v. whole verse.
Talmud - Mas. Chagigah 6a
Who brought him thus far?1 — Said Abaye to him: Thus far his mother brought him,2 since she is
bound to rejoice3 [on the festival]; from here onward, if he is able to go up from Jerusalem to the
Temple Mount holding his father's hand, he is obligated, and if not, he is exempt.
Rabbi objected on behalf of Beth Hillel to the view of Beth Shammai: But Hannah went not up;
for she said unto her husband: Until the child be weaned, when I will bring him up.4 Now Samuel
was [already] able to ride on his father's shoulders!5 - — Said his father6 to him: But according to
thy own reasoning there is a difficulty: was not Hannah herself bound to rejoice [on the festival]?7
The explanation, therefore, must be that Hannah saw that Samuel was exceptionally delicate, and she
feared that the journey might unduly fatigue Samuel.8 R. Simeon9 asked: What [is the law],
according to the view of Beth Shammai, respecting a minor who is lame,10 and according to both
views, respecting one who is blind?11 — What is the case? Shall one say that it is a case of a lame
child who will never be able to walk,12 and of a blind child who will never be able to see? Now [in
such cases] a major is exempt, can there be any question about a minor?13 — No, [the question] is
necessary with respect to a lame child who may [eventually] be able to walk14 and with respect to a
blind child who may [eventually] be able to see. What [is the law then]? — Abaye said: Wherever a
major is obligated according to the law of the Torah, we also initiate a minor according to Rabbinic
law; wherever a major is exempt according to the law of the Torah, a minor is also exempt according
to Rabbinic law.
BETH SHAMMAI SAY: THE PILGRIMAGE-OFFERING MUST BE WORTH [AT LEAST]
TWO PIECES OF SILVER etc. Our Rabbis taught: Beth Shammai say: The pilgrimage-offering
[must be worth at least] two pieces of silver and the festal-offering one ma'ah of silver, because the
pilgrimage-offering is offered up entirely to God,15 which is not the case with regard to the
festal-offering;16 furthermore, we find that for the Festival of Weeks17 Scripture has enjoined more
burnt-offerings than peace-offerings.18 But Beth Hillel say: The pilgrimage-offerings [must be at
least] one ma'ah of silver and the festal-offering two pieces of silver, because the festal-offering
obtained prior to the Revelation,19 which is not the case with regard to the pilgrimage-offering.
Furthermore, we find that in the case of ‘the princes’,20 Scripture enjoined more peace-offerings than
Now why do not Beth Hillel agree with Beth Shammai? — As for your saying that the
pilgrimage-offering is more important because it is entirely offered up to God, on the contrary, the
festal-offering is more important, because in it there are two meals.21 And as for your saying that we
should learn by analogy from the Feast of Weeks, [I contend that] we should form an analogy
between the offering of an individual and the offering of an individual,22 but we should not form an
analogy between the offering of an individual and an offering of the community.23 And why do not
Beth Shammai agree with Beth Hillel? — As for your saying that the festal-offering is more
important because it obtained prior to the Revelation, [I contend] that the pilgrimage-offering also
obtained prior to the Revelation.24 And as for your saying that we should learn by analogy from ‘the
princes’. [I contend that] we have to form an analogy between something that applies to [future]
generations25 and something [else] that applies to [future] generations;26 but we should not form an
analogy between something that applies to [future] generations and something that does not apply to
[future] generations.27 Now according to Beth Hillel, why is the festal-offering singled out as
obtaining prior to the Revelation? Because it is written: And they sacrificed sacrifices of
peace-offerings.28 Surely the pilgrimage-offerings must also [have been offered up then]; [for]
behold, it is written: And they offered burnt-offerings!29 — Beth Hillel are of the opinion that the
burnt-offering which the Israelites offered in the wilderness was the ‘continual burnt-offering’.30
And Beth Shammai? — They are of the opinion that the burnt-offering that the Israelites offered in
the wilderness was a pilgrimage-offering.31
Abaye said: Beth Shammai and R. Eleazar and R. Ishmael are all of the opinion that the
burnt-offering which the Israelites offered in the wilderness was a pilgrimage-offering. And Beth
Hillel and R. Akiba and R. Jose the Galilean are all of the opinion that the burnt-offering which the
Israelites offered in the wilderness was the ‘continual burnt-offering’. ‘Beth Shammai’, as we have
said [above]. ‘R. Ishmael’, for it is taught: R. Ishmael said: The general directions were given at
(1) I.e., from his house to Jerusalem. The fact that he could travel to Jerusalem shows that he is old enough to do without
his mother; at that age he is also old enough to be able to go up from Jerusalem to the Temple Mount by holding his
father's hand. What point, therefore, is there in defining a minor as one that is unable even with the aid of his father to go
up from Jerusalem to the Temple Mount, when the prior journey to Jerusalem shows that he is old enough to do this and
therefore no longer a minor?
(2) Thus the assumption that he was old enough to do without his mother is wrong.
(3) I.e., in order to fulfil the commandment to rejoice she must go to Jerusalem (cf. Deut. XIV, 26); but she is not subject
to the commandment to appear before the Lord on the Temple Mount.
(4) I Sam. I, 22. According to the Talmud a child is weaned at the end of 24 months.
(5) According to Rashi a child can do that at the end of a year. The Shammaite view, therefore, must be wrong.
(6) The other reading, Abaye, is an anachronism; [unless we read ‘Said Abaye’ omitting ‘to him’.]
(7) She ought therefore to have gone up to the Sanctuary (then at Shiloh) and taken Samuel with her even before he was
(8) Thus the case of Samuel cannot be regarded as a support for the Hillelite view.
(9) I.e., R. Simeon b. Lakish, v. Pes. 119a.
(10) Beth Shammai require a child to go up to the Temple (as part of his initiation or religious training) as soon as he can
do so by riding on his father's shoulders. Since the lame child could go up to the Temple Mount in this manner, is he
bound to do this? But the question is not applicable to Beth Hillel, because they require the child to be able to walk.
(11) This question is applicable to Beth Hillel, too, because the blind child could go up the Temple Mount by holding his
(12) Lit., ‘become straight’.
(13) His initiation would serve no purpose, for even on becoming of age he will be exempt.
(14) I.e., before he becomes of age. The question is: must we train him now because when he grows up he will be fit and
therefore bound to ‘appear’, or shall we exempt him on account of his present defects?
(15) Lit., ‘the Most-High’.
(16) Which is partly burnt, and partly eaten by pilgrims and priests.
(17) This is the Talmudic sense of ,rmg; but in the Bible it means (a) a general assemblage (e.g. Jer. IX, 1) (b) a
sacred assembly (e.g. Isa. I, 13), but especially the last day of Passover (Deut. XVI, 8) or of Tabernacles (Lev. XXIII,
36, Num. XXIX, 35).
(18) V. Lev. XXIII, 18, 19: the festal offering (vdhdj) belonged to the class of peace-offerings (ohnka); v. supra n.
(19) V. Ex. XXIV, 5, which is taken to refer to a time prior to the Revelation though it occurs after the Decalogue; cf.
Shab. 88a, where the building of the altar and the offering of sacrifices thereon by ‘the young men of the children of
Israel’, (taken by the Rabbis to be the firstborn) is said to have taken place on the fifth Sivan, a day before the
(20) I.e., the heads of the tribes mentioned at the dedication of the altar in Tabernacles; v. Num. VII, 87,88.
(21) For the altar and for man.
(22) I.e., the pilgrimage and festal-offerings which were private offerings should be compared with the offerings of ‘the
princes’, which were also private offerings.
(23) I.e., the offerings prescribed for the Feast of Weeks, which were provided from the Temple treasury.
(24) V. Ex. XXIV, 5.
(25) I.e., the pilgrimage and festal-offerings.
(26) I.e., the public offerings of the Feast of Weeks.
(27) I.e., the prince's offerings.
(29) Ibid. The pilgrimage-offering was a burnt-offering.
(30) V. Num. XXVIII, 2-6: this was a daily public offering from which no inference could be drawn regarding the
(31) Because the expression ‘they saw God’ (Ex. XXIV, 11) which, being similar to the expression ‘shall appear’ (Ex.
XXIII, 17). is taken to imply that it was offered as a pilgrimage celebration.
(32) I.e., many precepts were left vague at Sinai, which were explained in full detail after the erection of the Tabernacle;
cf., for example, Ex. XX, 24 with the detailed instructions concerning the sacrifices in Lev. I-VII.
Talmud - Mas. Chagigah 6b
and the details in the Tent of Meeting.1 But R. Akiba said: The general directions and the details
were given at Sinai2 and repeated in the Tent of Meeting and enjoined a third time in the Plains of
Moab.3 Now if you suppose that the burnt-offering which the Israelites offered in the wilderness was
the [statutory] continual burnt-offering4 , is it possible for a sacrifice not to require flaying and
dissection at first5 and later to require flaying and dissection? 6
‘R. Eleazar’, for it was taught: It is it continual burnt-offering, which was offered in Mount Sinai.7
R. Eleazar said: The manner of its offering was enjoined at Sinai, but it was not actually offered up.8
R. Akiba said: It was offered up and was never discontinued. But how am I to explain [the verse]:
Did you bring unto Me sacrifices and offerings in the wilderness forty years, O house of Israel?9 —
The tribe of Levi, who were not guilty of idol worship.10 offered them up.11
‘Beth Hillel’, as we have said [above]. ‘R. Akiba’, also, as we have said [above]. ‘R. Jose the
Galilean’,for it is taught: R. Jose the Galilean said: Three precepts are enjoined upon Israel when
they make their pilgrimage at a festival: the pilgrimage-offering and the festal-offering and the
rejoicing.12 The pilgrimage-offering has something that the other two have not;13 and the
festal-offering has something that the other two have not; and the rejoicing has something that the
other two have not. The pilgrimage-offering has something that the other two have not, for the
pilgrimage-offering is offered entirely to God, which is not the case with the other two. The
festal-offering has something that the other two have not, for the festal-offering obtained prior to the
Revelation,14 which was not the case with the other two. The rejoicing has something which the
other two have not, for the rejoicing applies to both men and women,15 which is not the case with the
With reference to R. Ishmael, why do you represent him as agreeing with Beth Shammai?17
[Because you argue]: If it were supposed that the burnt-offering which the Israelites offered in the
wilderness was the continual burnt-offering, is it possible for a sacrifice not to require flaying and
dissection at first and later to require flaying and dissection? But behold R. Jose the Galilean said
[distinctly]18 that the burnt-offering which the Israelites offered in the wilderness was the continual
burnt-offering; [and yet he held that] at first it did not require flaying and dissection, and later it did
require flaying and dissection. For it is taught: R. Jose the Galilean said: The burnt-offering which
the Israelites offered in the wilderness did not require flaying and dissection, because flaying and
dissection came into force only from [the erection of] the Tent of Meeting onward!19 — Strike out R.
Ishmael from here.20
R. Hisda asked: How is this verse to be understood: And he sent the young men of the children of
Israel, who offered burnt-offerings [namely] lambs, and sacrificed peace-offerings of oxen unto the
Lord?21 Or Perhaps both were oxen?22 What difference does it make? Mar Zutra said: In regard to
the punctuation.23 R. Abba, the son of Raba, said: In regard to one who says: I vow [to offer] a
burnt-offering like the burnt-offering which Israel offered in the wilderness. What [must he offer]?
Were they oxen or lambs? — It remains [undecided].
We have learnt elsewhere:24 The following things
(1) Cf. Lev. I, 1.
(2) Though not mentioned in connection with the Revelation but in other parts of the Torah e.g.. Leviticus.
(3) Cf. Deut. I, 5f.
(4) Enjoined by God for all time, and not offered by individuals at their own discretion as pilgrimage-offerings.
(5) Since, according to R. Ishmael, the laws of flaying and dissection as details were laid down only at the Tent of
(6) The burnt-offerings mentioned in Ex. XXIV, 5, before the Revelation at the Tent of Meeting, were offered up whole,
whilst the continual burnt-offering. like all burnt-offerings, required flaying and dissection, v. Lev. I, 6; therefore it must
be pilgrimage-offerings that are referred to in Ex. XXIV, which they offered on their own accord and which were
consequently not subject to any of the detailed laws governing burnt-offerings (Rashi).
(7) Num. XXVIII, 6.
(8) Thus the burnt-offerings brought by the ‘young men’ (Ex. XXIV, 5) must have been pilgrimage-offerings.
(9) Amos V, 25. This implies, contrary to R. Akiba's view, that in the wilderness the regular public sacrifices were not
offered, because Israel was under divine censure.
(10) Cf. Ex. XXXII, 26.
(11) I.e., they offered the continual burnt-offerings at their own expense (Rashi).
(12) The spirit of festive joy was expressed by a sacrificial feast; if the offerings brought in fulfillment of vows, as
free-will gifts or as tithe, did not suffice for all, additional peace-offerings had to be brought as offerings of rejoicing.
(13) I.e., is superior in a certain respect to the other two.
(14) The peace-offerings which the ‘young men’ also offered at Sinai (Ex. XXIV,5 ) though not offered on a festival, are
called festal-offerings (vdhdj) because they were the fulfilment of Ex. V, 1. As R. Jose holds that the
pilgrimage-offerings were not prior to the Revelation, he is in agreement with Beth Hillel.
(15) V. Deut. XIV, 26. The Tosefta reading is: For the offerings of rejoicing can be offered during any of the seven
days’ vgca kf ihnuka, vk ah vjnava
(16) Which, being precepts not expressly enjoined upon women, and being dependent on a fixed time (v. p. 13, n. 4) are
incumbent on men only.
(17) The question is against Abaye's statement above (p. 28): since the Hillelite view is the more authoritative, Abaye
should avoid representing R. Ishmael as agreeing with Beth Shammai.
(18) I.e., it is clearly inferred from the Baraitha just quoted.
(19) Thus the reasoning which sought to make R. Ishmael agree with Beth Shammai is wrong.
(20) I.e., from the list of those who hold the Shammaite view.
(21) Ex. XXIV, 5.
(22) I.e., the burnt-offerings as well as the peace-offering.
(23) ohngy euxhp. According to Rashi, the Neginoth or cantillation signs are referred to: the first interpretation
would require the word ,ukg to have a disjunctive accent (e.g.. ethnahta, as in our texts), and the second would
require a conjunctive accent (e.g.. Pashta or Rebia’). But actually the Neginoth are of Post-Talmudic origin; v. J.E. Vol. I
p. 157, 6, prg. 7. For doubtful verse-division cf. also Yoma 5a-b. V. also Ned., Sonc. ed., p. 113, n. 5.
(24) Pe'ah. I, 1.
Talmud - Mas. Chagigah 7a
have no prescribed limit:1 the [crop of the] corner of a field [to be left for the poor],2 the first fruits,3
the visiting of the Temple [Re'ayon],4 deeds of loving-kindness,5 and the study of the Torah. R.
Johanan said: We were of the opinion that the visiting of the Temple [with an offering] had no
maximum limit, but that it had a minimum limit,6 till R. Oshaya Berabbi7 came and taught that the
visiting of the Temple [with an offering] has no maximum nor minimum limit.8 But the Sages said:
The pilgrimage-offering9 must be worth [at least] one ma'ah of silver and the festal-offering two
pieces of silver.
What is meant by Re'ayon? — R. Johanan says: [It means] appearing10 in the Temple Court.11
Resh Lakish says: [It means] appearing with a sacrifice.12 Concerning the first day13 of the Festival,
all are agreed that the visit must be accompanied by an offering; they differ only with regard to the
other days of the festival. [Further] if a man brings [an offering] every time that he comes, all are
agreed that we are to accept it from him; they differ only with regard to a man who comes and does
not bring [an offering]. R. Johanan is of the opinion that [Re'ayon means] appearing at the Temple
Court; he need not therefore bring [an offering] whenever he comes. Resh Lakish says: [Re'ayon
means] appearing with an offering; thus he must bring [an offering] whenever he comes.
Resh Lakish put an objection to R. Johanan. [It is written]: None shall appear before Me empty!14
— He replied to him: [This refers] to the first day of the Festival.15
He [again] put an objection to him: ‘None shall appear before Me empty’: [this means one must
bring] animal sacrifices.16 You say, animal sacrifices, but perhaps [it means] birds or
meal-offerings? [Nay], you may deduce it by analogy. A festal-offering is prescribed for man17 and a
pilgrimage-offering is prescribed for God:18 just as the festal-offering prescribed for man is an
animal sacrifice,19 so the pilgrimage-offering prescribed for God is an animal sacrifice. And what is
meant by animal sacrifices? Burnt-offerings. You say burnt-offerings, but perhaps [it means]
peace-offerings? [Nay], you may deduce it by analogy: a festal-offering is prescribed for man and a
pilgrimage-offering is prescribed for God: just as the festal-offering which is prescribed for man is
one that is fitting20 for him, so the pilgrimage-offering which is prescribed for God must be one that
is fitting21 for Him. And so it is right, that your table should not be full and the table of the Master
empty!22 — He replied: [This refers] to the first day of the festival.
[Again] he Put an objection to him: R. Jose son of R. Judah said: Three times in the year were the
Israelites commanded to go on pilgrimage: on the Feast of Unleavened Bread, on the Feast of Weeks
and on the Feast of Booths; and they must not appear in divisions,23 for it is said: All thy males;24
and they must not appear empty-handed for it is said: None shall appear before Me empty!25 — He
replied: [This refers] to the first day of the festival.
R. Johanan put an objection to Resh Lakish: [It is written]: Yir'eh [He will see]. Yera'eh [He will
be seen];26 just as I [come] free,27 so you [come] free! — All, therefore, must agree that if a person
comes and does not bring [an offering] that he may enter [the Temple Court] and present himself and
go out.28 They differ only with regard to a person who comes and brings [an offering]. R. Johanan,
who says [Re'ayon means] appearing in the Temple Court, [holds] that there is no limit to
‘appearing’, but that there is a limit to the offerings. And Resh Lakish says: [Re'ayon means]
appearing with an offering; thus there is no limit to the offerings either. R. Johanan put an objection
to him: [It is written]: Let thy foot be seldom in thy Friend's house!29 — There it refers to
sin-offerings.30 as R. Levi [taught]. For R. Levi pointed to a contradiction; it is written: ‘Let thy foot
be seldom in thy Friend's house’, and it is written: I will come into Thy house with burnt-offerings!31
There is no contradiction: the one case refers to sin-offerings and trespass-offerings; the other case
refers to burnt-offerings and peace-offerings. It has also been taught thus: ‘Let thy foot be seldom in
thy Friend's house’: the verse speaks of sin-offerings and trespass-offerings. You say of sin-offerings
and trespass-offerings, but perhaps it is of nought but burnt-offerings and peace-offerings? When it
says: ‘I will come to Thy house with burnt-offerings, I will perform unto Thee my vows’, behold
burnt-offerings and peace-offerings are mentioned; how now shall I explain [the verse]: ‘Let thy foot
be seldom in thy Friend's house’? The verse speaks of sin-offerings and trespass-offerings.
‘And they must not appear in divisions etc.’ R. Joseph thought to explain it [thus]: If a man has ten
sons, they should not make the pilgrimage five one day and five the next day.32
(1) I.e., fixed by Scripture.
(2) V. Lev. XIX, 9 and XXIII, 22; the Rabbis fixed the minimum at a sixtieth of the field.
(3) Deut. XXVI, 1-11.
(4) iuhtr , iuhtr or iuhtr lit., appearing’ sc. at the Temple Court; secondarily, it means the sacrifice brought on the
occasion of the Temple visit; cf. end of page, and p. 1, n. 1.
(5) It includes all deeds of kindness; but for almsgiving the Rabbis prescribed a limit, v. Keth. 50a.
(6) prescribed by Scripture i.e., the ma'ah or two ma'ahs mentioned in the Mishnah.
(7) hcrc: According to Rashi, ‘great in his generation, i.e., eminent; according to Levy and Jastrow, ‘belonging to a
school of an eminent teacher’ (contra. of hcr hc); a title of scholars, most frequently applied to disciples of R. Judah
ha-Nasi and his contemporaries, but also to some of his predecessors and sometimes to the first Amoraim; v. Naz., Sonc.
ed., p. 64, n. 1.
(8) V. p. 31. n. 7.
(9) Heb. vhhtr v. n. 5, and p. 31, n. 10.
(10) The different form of the word implies a different meaning from vhhtr; the latter in this context would mean ‘the
(cost of the) pilgrimage burnt-offering’; the former signifies ‘appearing’ in the Temple.
(11) I.e., there is no limit to the number of visits, but only one sacrifice need be brought.
(12) I.e., however many visits are made to the Temple Court a sacrifice must be brought every time.
(13) Lit., ‘the essential part’.
(14) Ex. XXIII, 15. Thus the visitor to the Temple must always bring an offering.
(15) But on all subsequent visits no offering need be brought.
(16) ohjcz signifies sacrifices slaughtered with a knife, i.e., ,unvc (‘beasts’) in contradistinction to ,upug
(‘birds’), for which vehkn (‘pinching the neck with finger nail’) is prescribed.
(17) yuhsv Grk. ** a private man (as opposed to a priest, officer etc.), a commoner; ignoble, ignorant (Jast.). Here it
means the pilgrim (as opposed to God), for whom the festal-offering was intended to provide the festive meal.
(18) Lit., ‘the Most High’. The words ‘before Me’ (in Ex. XXIII, 15) imply that the pilgrimage-offering was prescribed
primarily as a sacrifice to God in contradistinction to the festal-offering which was to provide food for the worshipper.
(19) Cf. Ex. XXIII, 18 where hdj ckj (‘the fat of any festal-offering’) implies that it was an animal, for birds have
no ckj, fat to be burnt on the altar.
(20) I.e., it provides him with meat for his feast.
(21) I.e., a burnt-offering.
(22) Thus an offering should be brought on each visit to the Temple, which refutes R. Johanan.
(23) Lit., ‘by halves’. Explained infra p. 34.
(24) Ex. XXIII, 17.
(25) This apparently supports Resh Lakish.
(26) V. p. 3, n. 3.
(27) I.e., without sacrifices.
(28) This new view of the controversy shows that the previous arguments between R. Johanan and Resh Lakish were not
actually advanced by the Rabbis named but by later scholars, v. Tosaf. Bek. 4b, s.v. tkt,
(29) Prov. XXV, 17. I.e., one should not bring too many sacrifices to the House of God. There is possibly a play here on
the word kdr which means ‘foot’ and also ‘pilgrimage-festival’. For the term ‘Friend’ understood of God, cf. the terms
of endearment in Cant. which the Rabbis interpreted as expressing the loving relationship between Israel and God.
(30) I.e., the verse means: Avoid the necessity of bringing sin-offerings.
(31) Ps. LXVI, 13. Thus it is good to bring sacrifices.
(32) Taking ihtmjk literally. i.e., ‘by halves’.
Talmud - Mas. Chagigah 7b
Said Abaye to him: This is obvious; which of them would you make transgressors and which of them
would you make zealous?1 What then is the purpose of the verse?2 To intimate the teaching of
‘Others’.3 For it is taught: ‘Others’ Say: The scraper, the copper-smith and the tanner are exempt
from appearing [at the Temple]; for it is said, ‘All thy males’: he who is able to go on the pilgrimage
with ‘all thy males’; these [then] are excluded, because they are unable to go up with all thy males. 4
MISHNAH. BURNT-OFFERINGS DURING THE MID-FESTIVAL5 ARE TO BE BROUGHT
PEACE-OFFERINGS, [ALSO] FROM [ANIMALS BOUGHT WITH SECOND] TITHE
MONEY.8 ON THE FIRST FESTIVAL DAY OF PASSOVER, BETH SHAMMAI SAY: [THEY
MUST BE BROUGHT] FROM [ANIMALS BOUGHT WITH] UNCONSECRATED MONEY;
AND BETH HILLEL SAY: [THEY CAN BE BROUGHT ALSO] FROM [ANIMALS BOUGHT
WITH SECOND] TITHE MONEY. ISRAELITES9 MAY FULFIL THEIR OBLIGATION10 WITH
VOW-OFFERINGS, FREEWILL-OFFERINGS11 AND TITHE OF CATTLE;12 AND THE
PRIESTS WITH SIN-OFFERINGS AND TRESPASS-OFFERINGS.13 FIRSTLINGS,14 THE
BREAST AND THE SHOULDER,15 BUT NOT WITH BIRD-OFFERINGS,16 NOR
GEMARA. Accordingly, it is during the mid-festival only that burnt-offerings are brought from
[animals bought with] unconsecrated money, but on the festival [they may be brought] also from
[animals bought with Second] Tithe money. [But] why? It is obligatory, and everything that is
obligatory must be brought from [animals bought with] unconsecrated money! And if you say: It
comes to teach us this, [to wit,] that burnt-offerings can be brought during the mid-festival but not on
the festival;18 then this will be according to Beth Shammai!19 For we have learnt: Beth Shammai say.
One may bring peace-offerings [on the festival]20 without laying the hands21 upon them; but not
burnt-offerings.22 But Beth Hillel say, One may bring peace-offerings and burnt-offerings [on the
festival] and lay the hands upon them!23 — [Our Mishnah] is defective, and it should read thus:
Burnt-offerings, vow-offerings and freewill-offerings are brought during the mid-festival, but they
may not be brought on the festival.24 But the pilgrimage burnt-offering is brought even on the
festival;25 and when it is brought,26 it must be brought only from [animals bought with]
unconsecrated money; but the peace-offerings of rejoicing can be brought also from [animals bought
with Second] Tithe money.27 And regarding the festal-offering of the first festival day of Passover,
Beth Shammai say: [It must be brought from animals bought with] unconsecrated money; and Beth
Hillel say: [It can be brought] also from [animals bought with Second] Tithe money.28 It has also
been taught thus: Burnt-offerings, vow-offerings and freewill-offerings are brought during the
mid-festival but not on the festival. But the pilgrimage burnt-offering is brought even on the festival;
and when it is brought, it is brought only from [animals bought with] unconsecrated money; but the
peace-offerings of rejoicing can be brought also from [animals bought with Second] Tithe money.
And regarding the festal-offering of the first festival day of Passover,29 Beth Shammai say: [It must
be brought] from [animals bought with] unconsecrated money; but Beth Hillel say: [It can be
brought] also from [animals bought with Second] Tithe money. Why is the festal-offering of the first
festival day of Passover different?30 — It comes to teach us this: Only the festival-offering of the
fifteenth [of Nisan must be brought from animals bought with unconsecrated money] but not the
festal-offering of the fourteenth [of Nisan].31
(1) All the ten are bound to visit the Temple on the first day; if, now, five at a time went up, the first group would be
doing their duty scrupulously and the second five would be remiss.
(2) ‘All thy males,’ teaching that they must not appear in divisions.
(3) V. p. 14, n. 5.
(4) ‘They must not appear in divisions’ means, therefore, that all the Israelites must form one group; if the scraper etc.
were to go on the pilgrimage they would have to form, because of their malodour, a separate group, which is forbidden.
(5) sgun lit., ‘appointed time,’ i.e., the intermediate days of Passover and Sukkoth as opposed to cuy ouh, festival
days (called in the Bible ase tren’holy convocation’). In the Bible sgun includes both festival and intermediate
days, cf. e.g. Lev. XXIII, 4.
(6) As opposed to animals bought with Second Tithe money (v. infra, n. 8). All obligatory offerings had to be brought
from unconsecrated animals (cf. Men. 82a and infra p. 36).
(7) Brought to provide sufficient meat for the pilgrim and his family so that they might keep the festival with rejoicing
(cf. Deut. XIV, 26).
(8) Cf. Deut. XIV, 22f. The tithe was separated in the first, second, fourth and fifth year of the seven year cycle, after
terumah (‘heave-offering’) had been given to the Priest and First Tithe to the Levite. It was to be consumed in Jerusalem
or the money with which it was redeemed spent there (v. Danby, P. 73, n. 6).
(9) As opposed to priests.
(10) I.e., of ‘rejoicing’ on the festival by offering peace-offerings wherewith to provide themselves with meat for the
feast. Thus it is unnecessary to bring special sacrifices for this purpose, if the vow-offerings etc. provide sufficient for
the family's needs.
(11) Cf. Mishnah Meg. I, 6.
(12) V. Lev. VII, 31-39.
(13) Brought by pilgrims and of which only the priests may eat; v. Num. XVIII, 9f.
(14) V. ibid. 17-19.
(15) V. Lev. VII, 29f.
(16) They were sin-offerings.
(17) V. Lev. II, 1. The bird and meal-offerings would not provide a feast suited to the occasion of rejoicing.
(18) I.e., it is forbidden to offer the pilgrimage burnt-offerings on the festival (when all manner of work is prohibited),
even though it is an obligatory offering of the festival, because there is time to bring the offering the next day.
(19) Whose opinion is invalid against that of Beth Hillel.
(20) Because they supply the pilgrim with his feast.
(21) Cf. Lev. III, 2 and infra 16a. The act of laying on of the hands, which causes the pilgrim to support himself on the
animal, is forbidden by the Rabbis on Festival and Sabbath on account of shebuth (‘abstention, rest’, v. Glos.) i.e., it is
an action out of keeping with the restful character of the holy day. though it is not actually included in one of the
thirty-nine categories of labour (v. Mishnah Shab. VII, 2) and cf. Mishnah Bez. V, 2.
(22) Exceptions were the continual burnt-offerings and the additional offerings, which were permitted to be offered
because they had an appointed time (cf. Num. XXVIII, 2 usgunc); otherwise, Beth Shammai explained ‘unto you’ in
Ex. XII, 16 to mean: for yourselves offer sacrifices but not entirely for God.
(23) Since it is permitted to bring them, the laying on of the hands is also permitted. V. Bez. 19b.
(24) Even according to Beth Hillel.
(25) Though it could be brought during the mid-festival, Lev. XXIII, 4 (‘and ye shall keep it a feast’) is taken by Beth
Hillel to imply that it should be offered on the first day of the festival.
(26) [Wilna Gaon emends ‘when they are brought’ referring to all the mentioned offerings].
(27) V. p. 36, n. 1, and infra p. 39.
(28) Explained infra.
(29) As distinct from the festal-offering of the fourteenth of Nisan; v. next note.
(30) I.e., why is it specifically mentioned?
(31) If the paschal lamb did not suffice for the company a festal-offering could be sacrificed in addition (cf. Sifre to
Deut. XVI, 2 and Pes. 69b). This festival-offering was not obligatory, hence even Beth Shammai would agree that it
could be brought from the Second Tithe.
Talmud - Mas. Chagigah 8a
Thus he holds that the festal-offering of the fourteenth [of Nisan] is not enjoined by the Torah.
The Master said [above]: ‘Beth Hillel say: [The festal-offering of the first day of the festival can
be brought also] from [animals bought with Second] Tithe money’. Why? It is obligatory, and
everything that is obligatory must be brought only from [animals bought with] unconsecrated
money!1 — ‘Ulla said: When he supplements [the unconsecrated by that of the Second Tithe].2
Hezekiah said: One animal may be supplemented by another animal, but money may not be
supplemented by money. And R. Johanan said: Money may be supplemented by money, but one
animal may not be supplemented by another animal. There is a teaching agreeing with Hezekiah and
there is a teaching agreeing with R. Johanan. There is a teaching agreeing with R. Johanan: [it is
written]: After the tribute;3 this teaches that a man must bring his obligatory offering from [animals
bought with] unconsecrated money. And whence [do we know] that if he desires to mix he may
mix?4 The text teaches: According as the Lord, thy God, shall bless thee.5 There is a teaching
agreeing with Hezekiah: [The expression] ‘after the tribute’ teaches that a man may bring his
obligatory offering from [animals bought with] unconsecrated money. Beth Shammai say: The first
[festival] day from [animals bought with] unconsecrated money.6 thenceforward7 [also] from
[animals bought with Second] Tithe money. Beth Hillel say: The first meal8 from [animals bought
with] unconsecrated money. thenceforward9 from [animals bought with Second] Tithe money. And
the remaining days of Passover, a man may fulfil his obligation10 [also] with the tithe of cattle.11
Why may he not [do so] on the festival?12 — R. Ashi said: Lest he come to separate tithe on the
festival; and it is impossible to separate tithe on the festival on account of the [marking with] red
paint.13 What evidence is there that the [word] ‘tribute’ indicates that which is unconsecrated? —
Because it is written: And the King Ahasuerus laid tribute upon the land. 14
ISRAELITES MAY FULFIL THEIR OBLIGATION WITH VOW-OFFERINGS AND
FREEWILL-OFFERINGS. Our Rabbis taught: [It is written], And thou shalt rejoice in thy feast.15
This includes all kinds of rejoicings as [festival] rejoicing.16 Hence the Sages said: Israelites may
fulfil their obligation with vow-offerings, freewill-offerings and tithe of cattle; and the priests with
sin-offering and guilt-offering, and with firstlings, and with the breast and the shoulder; one might
[think] also with bird-offerings and meal-offerings, [therefore] Scripture teaches: ‘And thou shalt
rejoice in thy feast’.
(1) Cf. p. 36.
(2) If he has a large company and the festival-offering from his unconsecrated means (ihkuj) will not suffice, he is
permitted to add thereto from the Second Tithe: according to Hezekiah, it means that he may purchase other
festival-offerings with Second Tithe money; according to R. Johanan, he may add Second Tithe money in order to
purchase a larger animal. The former deems it better that one should satisfy one's obligation to bring the festival-offering
from unconsecrated means by bringing therefrom a complete offering i.e., the first, though by itself inadequate for the
company; the latter prefers that every morsel of the festival-offering should contain a percentage purchased with
unconsecrated money (Rashi). Tosaf. explains that R. Johanan objects to ‘dividing one's obligation’ by spreading it over
(3) Deut. XVI, 10.
(4) The expression ‘mix’ supports R. Johanan, because it is applicable to money and not to animals.
(5) Ibid. I.e., with both unconsecrated and consecrated means.
(6) Because it is obligatory then.
(7) Though still termed festival-offerings, they are really peace-offerings of rejoicing.
(8) I.e., the first festal-offering.
(9) Even on the same day.
(10) ‘To rejoice’.
(11) And also of course with offerings bought with Second Tithe money.
(12) I.e., satisfy his obligation after the first meal with tithe cattle, just as he may buy an offering with Second Tithe
(13) Every tenth animal was designated as tithe by being marked with red paint (Bek. IX, 7); on a holy day painting,
being regarded as work, is prohibited.
(14) Esth. X, 1. The word used here xn, and ,xn in Deut. XVI, 10 are from the same root.
(15) Deut. XVI, 14, which refers to Sukkoth, but by analogy is applicable to each of the three pilgrim festivals.
(16) I.e., the precept to rejoice can be fulfilled only by having meat at the feast (cf. Pes. 119a), but the flesh of any kind
of sacrifice will do.
Talmud - Mas. Chagigah 8b
only with those [offerings] from which the festal-offering can be brought;1 these, then, are excluded
Since the festal-offering cannot be brought from them. R. Ashi said: It is to be deduced from [the
expression]. ‘And thou shalt rejoice’; these, then, are excluded because there is no [festive] joy in
them. But what does R. Ashi do with [the expression]. ‘in thy feast’.2 — To intimate what R. Daniel
b. Kattina learnt. For R. Daniel b. Kattina said that Rab said: Whence [is it derived] that marriages3
may not take place during the mid-festival? Because it is said: ‘And thou shalt rejoice in thy feast’,
but not in thy wife.4
MISHNAH. HE THAT HAS MANY TO EAT [WITH HIM] AND FEW POSSESSIONS,5
OFFERS MANY PEACE-OFFERINGS AND FEW BURNT-OFFERINGS,6 [HE THAT HAS]
MANY POSSESSIONS AND FEW TO EAT [WITH HIM] BRINGS MANY
BURNT-OFFERINGS7 AND FEW PEACE-OFFERINGS. [HE THAT HAS] FEW OF EITHER,
FOR HIM IS PRESCRIBED:8 ONE MA'AH OF SILVER’, ‘TWO PIECES OF SILVER’.9 HE
THAT HAS MANY OF BOTH, OF HIM IT IS SAID: EVERY MAN SHALL GIVE AS HE IS
ABLE, ACCORDING TO THE BLESSING OF THE LORD THY GOD, WHICH HE HATH
GEMARA. Whence shall he bring many peace-offerings? Behold He has not! — Said R. Hisda:
He may supplement [unconsecrated money with Second Tithe money] and bring a large bull.11 Said
R. Shesheth to him: Behold they said: One may supplement beast with beast! What did he mean?
Should one say he meant this: Behold they said: One may supplement beast with beast, but not
money with money; then he should say to him: One may not supplement money with money!12 —
He must, therefore, have meant this: Behold they said: One may also supplement beast with beast!13
According to whom will this be? It will be neither according to Hezekiah nor according to R.
Johanan.14 And should you say: It is only the Amoraim15 who differ [about it],16 but the Baraithas17
do not differ;18 but behold it says: The first meal must come from unconsecrated money!19 — The
first meal means that the amount of the value of a first meal20 must be from unconsecrated money.21
‘Ulla said that Resh Lakish said: If a man set aside ten beasts for his festal-offering [and] he
offered up five on the first day of the festival, he may offer up the other five on the second day of the
festival;22 R. Johanan said: Since he has interrupted [the offer- above) and not leave R. Hisda to infer
what is prohibited from a statement of what is permitted. ings]. he cannot offer any more. R. Abba
said: But they do not differ: the one speaks of an instance where he did not declare his intention, and
the other speaks of an instance where he did declare his intention.23 What is the case of the one who
had not declared his intention?24 — Should one say that there is no time left in the day to offer them,
then the reason for his not offering them was because there is no time left in the day!25 [Should one
say], therefore, that he had no [more] people to eat with him!25 - — No, it refers to a case where
there was time left in the day [to offer] and he had people to eat with him; seeing that he did not offer
them on the first day [of the festival] it proves that he left them over [intentionally].26 And so it
stands to reason;27 for when Rabin came [from Palestine] he said that R. Johanan said: If a man set
aside ten beasts for his festal-offering, [and] he offered five the first day of the festival, he may offer
the other five on the second day of the festival. [Now the two statements of R. Johanan] contradict
one another! Surely, therefore, you must learn from this that in the one case he does not declare his
intention and in the other he does declare his intention. Proven.
It is also reported:28 R. Shaman b. Abba said that R. Johanan said:
(1) V. p. 33, n. 3. Cf. also infra 10b.
(2) I.e., since Scripture has no redundant expressions, what teaching does he derive from it.
(3) Lit., ‘they may not take wives’.
(4) V. M.K. 8b.
(5) I.e., cattle (cf. Aramaic ihxfb cattle, herd), which, in contradistinction to land (immovable property), originally
constituted essential (movable) wealth. The root xfb means to slaughter; cf. Latin pecunia from pecus (Goldschmidt).
Cf. also chattels from cattle. Jastrow offers a different explanation.
(6) Respectively for festal and pilgrimage sacrifices.
(7) In accordance with Deut. XVI, 17.
(8) By the Rabbis.
(9) V. p. 2, nn. 2, 4.
(10) Deut. XVI, 17.
(11) V. p. 38, the views of Hezekiah and R. Johanan.
(12) I.e., let R. Shesheth, who follows Hezekiah's view, say distinctly what is prohibited (exactly as Hezekiah does
(13) I.e., and not merely money with money.
(14) As neither of them permits the supplementing of both money with money and beast with beast.
(15) Lit., ‘speakers’: the Talmudic scholars who were active from the time of the conclusion of the Mishnah (C. 220
C.E.) to the end of the fifth century, and compiled almost the whole of the Gemara; v. Glos. s.v. Amora. Here Hezekiah
and R. Johanan are referred to.
(16) I.e., regarding the permissibility of supplementing money with money and adding beast to beast.
(17) Lit., ‘extraneous (teachings)’: the generic term for Tannaitic teachings not included in the Mishnah, v. Glos.
(18) The Baraithas quoted above (pp. 38, 39) in support of Hezekiah and R. Johanan respectively do not contradict each
other regarding the permissibility of adding money to money, only regarding the adding of beast to beast, which the first
Baraitha prohibits and the second permits. Thus R. Shesheth will agree with the second Baraitha which permits the
adding of beast to beast as well as money to money.
(19) This presumably means that the whole of the flesh of the first meal must come from unconsecrated money, which in
turn shows that the Baraitha refers to the supplementing of beast with beast and not of money with money.
(20) [I.e..the amount required to constitute generally a first festal meal and not, as assumed, the whole of the first meal.
The text is in slight disorder].
(21) Thus the Baraitha may refer both to animals and money.
(22) Rashi explains: One must not suppose that by offering the remaining beasts on the second day (i.e. , the first day of
the mid-festival) he is transgressing the commandment to keep one day as a feast i.e., to offer his festal offerings on the
first day (deduced infra p. 44 from Lev. XXIII, 41, ‘and ye shall keep it (only) a feast’), for the second day he is merely
‘compensating’ for the dues of the first. But according to R. Hananel (quoted in Tosaf’. rzuj v"s )
hba cuy ouh(‘the second day’) means, or should read, iurjt cuy ouh (‘the last day of the festival’); and he
explains that one should not think that since vow-offerings and freewill-offerings cannot be brought on a festival day,
therefore the remaining beasts may not be offered then; for these sacrifices are to be regarded as festal-offerings not as
vow- or freewill-offerings, since in the first place they were set aside for that purpose. This interpretation is supported by
(23) I.e., he said explicitly I set all of them aside for the first day; if then he offers some on the second day, they are
merely ‘compensation’ for the first day.
(24) That you rule that he cannot offer them any more.
(25) But his intention was to offer them on the first day.
(26) In order to provide a feast for the second day.
(27) I.e.. that R. Johanan would grant that if he declared his intention to offer them all on the first day, he may offer the
remaining beasts on the second.
(28) This is an Amoraic (v. p. 41, n. 3) corroboration to the effect that where it is evident that the pilgrim did not intend
in the first instance to hold over some of the offerings for the second day, R. Johanan would agree with Resh Lakish.
Talmud - Mas. Chagigah 9a
They taught this1 only [of a case] when it had not ended, but if it had ended, he may offer the rest [on
the second day]. What does ‘ended’ mean? Shall one say [it means]: he had ended2 his sacrifices?
What [in that case] should he offer? It must mean, therefore, that the day had not ended,3 but if the
day had ended,4 he may offer the rest [on the second day].
MISHNAH. HE WHO DID NOT BRING HIS FESTAL-OFFERING ON THE FIRST
FESTIVAL, DAY OF THE FEAST [OF TABERNACLES], MAY BRING IT DURING THE
WHOLE OF THE FESTIVAL, EVEN ON THE LAST FESTIVAL DAY5 OF THE FEAST [OF
TABERNACLES]. IF THE FESTIVAL, PASSED AND HE DID NOT BRING THE FESTIVAL
OFFERING, HE IS NOT BOUND TO MAKE IT GOOD. OF SUCH A PERSON IT IS SAID: HE
THAT IS CROOKED CANNOT BE MADE STRAIGHT AND THAT WHICH IS WANTING
CANNOT BE RECKONED.6 R. SIMEON B. MENASYA SAID: WHO IS IT ‘THAT IS
CROOKED’ WHO ‘CANNOT BE MADE STRAIGHT’? HE THAT HAS CONNECTION WITH A
FORBIDDEN RELATION7 AND BEGETS BY HER BASTARD ISSUE. SHOULD YOU SAY
THAT IT APPLIES TO A THIEF OR ROBBER, BUT THEN HE IS ABLE TO MAKE
RESTITUTION AND BE MADE STRAIGHT. R. SIMEON B. YOHAI SAID: ONLY HE CAN BE
CALLED ‘CROOKED’ WHO WAS STRAIGHT AT FIRST AND BECAME CROOKED. AND
WHO IS THIS? — A DISCIPLE OF THE SAGES WHO FORSAKES THE TORAH.
GEMARA. Whence do we know this?8 — R. Johanan in the name of R. Ishmael said: [The
expression] ‘Azereth [‘solemn assembly’] is used of the seventh day of Passover,9 and [the
expression] ‘Azereth is used of the eighth day of the Feast [of Tabernacles].10 Just as there it11
intimates that one can make good [thereon the festal-offering due on the first day] so here12 it
intimates that one can make good [thereon the festal-offering of the first day]. And it is free [for
interpretation];13 for were it not free one might object: whereas [this14 applies] to the seventh day of
Passover which is not differentiated from the preceding [days], can you say this of the eighth day of
the Feast [of Tabernacles] which is differentiated from the preceding [days].15 But it is not so;16 it is
quite free [for interpretation]. Consider, what does ‘Azereth mean? [Evidently it means], restrained
[‘Azur]17 in respect of doing work. But behold it is written: Thou shalt do no work;18 wherefore,
then, has the Divine Law written ‘Azereth?19 You must infer therefrom [that it is] in order to leave it
free [for interpretation]. But the Tanna20 [of the following Baraitha] deduces it from here. For it is
taught: And ye shall keep it a feast unto the Lord seven days.21 One might think that he must go on
bringing festal-offerings the whole of the seven days. Scripture, therefore, says, ‘it’: on it [only] are
you to offer festal-offerings, but you are not to offer festal-offerings on all the seven days. If so, why
does it say, ‘seven’? To intimate that one may make good [the festal-offering during the seven days
of the festival]. And whence [do we learn] that if he did not bring the festal-offering on the first
festival day of the Feast [of Tabernacles] that he can go on bringing it during the course of the whole
Festival, even on the last festival day? Scripture says: Ye shall keep it in the seventh month.22 If,
now, [it is to be kept] in the seventh month, one might think that one can go on bringing the
festal-offering throughout the whole month, therefore Scripture says. ‘it’:23 on ‘it’ [only] are you to
offer festal-offerings, but you are not to offer festal-offerings outside it.
And what is the nature of this ‘making good’? — R. Johanan says: They24 make up for the first
day;25 and R. Oshaiah says: They make up for one another.26 What is the [practical] point at issue
between them? — R. Zera said: [The case of] a man who was lame27 on the first day [of the festival]
and became well on the second day is the point of issue between them. R. Johanan says: They make
up for the first day; since on the first day he was not qualified [to bring the festal-offering], he is not
qualified on the second. And R. Oshaiah says: They make up for one another; although he was not
qualified on the first day he is qualified on the second. But could R. Johanan have said this? For
behold Hezekiah said: If [a Nazirite] became defiled during the day [of the eighth] he has to bring [a
sacrifice], but during the night [preceding the eighth] he does not have to bring [a sacrifice].28 But R.
Johanan said: Also [if he was defiled] during the night, he must bring [a sacrifice]!29 — Said R.
Jeremiah: The case of uncleanness is different,30 because it can be made good [as is the case with the
sacrifice] on the Second Passover.31 R. Papa demurred to this: It is right according to the view that
the Second Passover
(1) I.e., the Baraitha quoted infra pp. 44-45 which deduces from Lev. XXIII, 41 that the festal-offering is to be offered
on the first day only.
(2) rnd (‘he ended’) is both transitive and intransitive.
(3) And he refrained from offering the remaining beasts.
(4) And he had no opportunity of offering all his sacrifices.
(5) Which is regarded as a separate festival, nevertheless one can make good thereon the festal-offering due on the first
day of Tabernacles.
(6) Eccl. I, 15.
(7) V. Lev. XVIII, 6-18.
(8) I.e., that if the festal-offering was not brought earlier, it can still be offered up on the last day of Tabernacles.
(9) Deut. XVI, 8.
(10) Lev. XXIII, 36; Num. XXIX, 35.
(11) I.e., in the case of the seventh day of Passover which is essentially part of the Passover Festival.
(12) I.e., in the case of the eighth day of Tabernacles, even though it has the status of a separate festival; v. infra 17a.
(13) I.e., the word ,rmg is redundant; this makes the inference by analogy irrefutable.
(14) That one can make good on the last day the festal-offering of the first.
(15) Cf. Yoma 3a.
(16) hhtk=hv tk=utk ‘No’, ‘it is not so’.
(17) Cf. A.V. Marg. ‘restraint’ in Deut. XVI, 8; Lev. XXIII, 36.
(18) Deut. XVI, 8.
(19) V. p. 7, n. 8.
(20) An authority quoted in Mishnah and Baraitha in contradistinction to Amora such as R. Johanan above. V. Glos.
(21) Lev. XXIII, 41.
(22) Ibid. I.e., you can bring the festal-offering on every festival day in the month.
(23) The second ‘it’ of the verse.
(24) I.e., the days of the festival following the first.
(25) I.e.,the first day of the festival is the specific day for the festival-offering. If a man was liable to bring it on the first
day but did not, he may make it good on a subsequent day of the festival; but if he was exempt on the first day, he is no
longer bound to bring the offering.
(26) I.e.. each day makes up for the preceding in the sense that it puts a new liability on the pilgrim; thus on whichever
day of the festival he becomes qualified, he is bound to bring his offerings.
(27) And therefore exempt; v. p. 1.
(28) If a Nazirite (v. Num. VI, 2f) becomes defiled, he must wait seven days, and bring a sacrifice on the eighth, before
he again begins to observe the days of his Naziritehood. One sacrifice will suffice for several defilements if the lapse
between any two is less than eight days. But if he became defiled on the eighth day, he must bring a sacrifice for the
previous defilement, since it was already due, and also for the subsequent defilement, since it occurred in a new period
of eight days. If, however, the second defilement occurred on the night preceding the eighth, a second sacrifice has not to
be brought, since the first cannot be offered till the morning, (for sacrifices are offered only during the day), the
obligation to bring a sacrifice cannot be said to have yet fallen due and consequently the question of making good does
not in his view arise. Cf. Ker. II, 3.
(29) Because he has already been purified by ritual immersion (vkhcy) on the seventh day, and the sun of that day
has set (ana crgv). Now this statement seems to show that R. Johanan holds that though one is not qualified to
bring a sacrifice (e.g., the Nazirite on the night preceding the eighth day), one may make up for it later.
(30) I.e., a sacrifice which cannot be offered on account of uncleanness is exceptional.
(31) Which is offered to make good the nonobservance of the First Passover sacrifice owing to a disqualification of
uncleanness. V. Num. 10f. Thus those who are unfit to bring the paschal lamb on the First Passover may bring it on the
Second, and similarly in other cases of uncleanness; but in all other cases of disqualification, R. Johanan would hold that
an offering which could not be brought on one day cannot be made good.
Talmud - Mas. Chagigah 9b
makes up for the First;1 but what is to be said according to the view that the Second [Passover] is a
separate festival?2 — Therefore, said R. Papa, R. Johanan must be of the opinion that the night
[before the day on which the sacrifice is due] is not regarded as belonging to the preceding period.3
But how could R. Johanan have said this?4 For behold R. Johanan said: If [a zab]5 had one emission
in the night and two in the [following] day, he must bring [a second offering];6 but [if he had] two in
the night and one in the day, he has not to bring [a second offering].7 Now if you imagine that R.
Johanan is of the opinion that the night [before the day on which the sacrifice is due] is not regarded
as belonging to the preceding period, then even [if he had] two [emissions] at night and one in the
day he must bring [a second offering]! — R. Johanan said this only according to the view that the
night [before] is regarded as belonging to the preceding period.8 But according to this view it is
surely obvious!9 — It is required for the case where there are two [emissions] in the day and one the
[preceding] night. You might have thought [the decision] to be according to the objection of R.
Shisha son of R. Idi, it therefore teaches us that it is according to R. Joseph. 10
IF THE FESTIVAL PASSED AND HE DID NOT BRING THE FESTIVAL OFFERING, HE IS
NOT BOUND TO MAKE IT GOOD. OF SUCH A PERSON IT IS SAID: HE THAT IS CROOKED
CANNOT BE MADE STRAIGHT AND THAT WHICH IS WANTING CANNOT BE
RESTORED. Bar He-He11 said to Hillel: [Instead of] the [expression] ‘to be reckoned’ it ought to be
‘to be filled’!12 It must refer, therefore, to one whose fellows reckoned him13 for [the performance
of] a religious act, but he would not be reckoned with them. It has also been taught thus: ‘He that is
crooked cannot be made straight’: this refers to one who neglected to read the morning Shema’ or
the evening Shema’,14 or he neglected the morning prayer15 or the evening prayer. And that which is
wanting cannot be reckoned’; this refers to one whose fellows resolved16 on [the performance of] a
religious act and he would not be reckoned with them.
Bar He-He said to Hillel: Then shall ye again discern between the righteous and the wicked,
between him that serveth God and him that serveth Him not.17 ‘The righteous’ is the same as ‘he that
serveth God’; ‘the wicked’ is the same as ‘he that serveth Him not’! — He answered him: He that
serveth Him and he that serveth Him not both refer to such as are perfectly righteous; but he that
repeated his chapter a hundred times is not to be compared with him who repeated it a hundred and
one times.18 Said [Bar He-He] to him: And because of once he is called ‘he that serveth Him not’?
— He answered: Yes, go and learn from the mule-drivers market; ten parasangs for one zuz,19
eleven parasangs for two zuz.
Elijah20 said to Bar He-He, and others say, to R. Eleazar: What is the meaning of the verse:
Behold I have refined thee but not as silver; I have tried thee in the furnace of affliction?21 It teaches
that the Holy One, blessed be He, went through all the good qualities in order to give [them] to
Israel, and He found only poverty.22 Samuel said, and others say. R. Joseph: This accords with the
popular saying: Poverty befits Israel like a red trapping a white horse.23 R. SIMEON B. MENASYA
SAID: WHO IS IT ‘THAT IS CROOKED’ WHO ‘CANNOT BE MADE STRAIGHT’? HE THAT
HAS CONNECTION WITH A FORBIDDEN RELATION AND BEGETS BY HER BASTARD
ISSUE etc. Only if he begets, but not if he does not beget. But behold it is taught: R. Simeon b.
Menasya said: If a man steal, he can return the theft and [so] become straight; but he that has
connection with a married woman and makes her prohibited unto her husband is banished from the
world and passes away.24 (R. Simeon b. Yohai said: One does not say: Examine the camel, examine
the pig,25 Only examine the lamb.26 And who is this? A disciple of the wise who has forsaken the
Torah. R. Judah b. Lakish said: Any disciple of the wise who has forsaken the Torah, of him
Scripture says: As a bird that wandereth from her nest, so is a man that wandereth from his place.27
And it further says : What unrighteousness have your fathers found in me, that they are gone far
from me?)28 — There is no contradiction: the one case refers to his unmarried sister,29 the other
refers to a married woman.30 Or I might say: Both are cases of married women; but there is no
contradiction: in the one case
(1) V. Pes. 93a.
(2) This excludes the explanation that a sacrifice, not offered in time owing to uncleanness, can be made good later.
(3) [Lit., ‘is not (deemed as) wanting time’. I.e., the fact that one cannot bring an offering on the night preceding the day
on which it is due, is not regarded as a disqualifying factor, and consequently in the case of a Nazirite the night
preceding the eighth day completes the eight days’ period, so that the sacrifice may be said to fall due thereon, though he
is actually prevented from offering it because it is still night. For this reason the sacrifice which was not offered at night
can be made good on the following morning, and should he in the meantime suffer a second defilement, he has to bring a
second sacrifice, whereas in the case of the festival-offering where he was lame on the first day, there was no obligation
whatsoever resting on him to bring a sacrifice and consequently this cannot be made good].
(4) I.e., that the night preceding the day on which a sacrifice is due is not regarded as belonging to the preceding period.
(5) cz, one who suffers from gonorrhoea (v. Lev. XV). After the first emission he is considered a hre kgc and is
unclean for the day; after the second, he is tyn, (unclean in the degree of zab), and has to count seven clean days,
wash his garments, have ritual immersion and wait for sunset; after the third, he has, in addition, to bring sacrifices on
the eighth day (cf. Ned. 43b). This zab had counted seven days and was to bring his offerings on the morrow, and in the
meantime he saw further discharges.
(6) Because the first emission is counted with the two of the morning.
(7) Because the two nocturnal emissions make him unclean within the period of the first defilement, i.e., before the
(8) But his own view is the reverse.
(9) As his own opinion the statement would have point in as much as it tells us his personal view; otherwise the teaching
is an obvious corollary of the principle that the night before belongs to the preceding period.
(10) V. Ker. 8a, where R. Joseph seeks to prove R. Johanan's view that the first emission in the evening is counted with
the two of the morning (cf. n. 1). and R. Shisha argues against the former's proof.
(11) V. Aboth, Sonc. ed, p. 77, n. 6. (Ch. V, 23).
(12) I.e., the expression ‘that which is wanting’ (iurxj) requires as its antonym ‘to be filled’ (,utknvk) not ‘to
be reckoned’ ,ubnvk lit., to be numbered’.
(13) I.e., asked him to join them.
(14) A biblical reading consisting of Deut. VI, 4-9 and an additional sentence; ibid. XI, 13-21; Num. XV, 37-41; the
name is derived from its first word — gna. V. P.B. pp. 40-42.
(15) The prayer par excellence, called also ‘Amidah (‘standing prayer’) and the ‘eighteen (really nineteen) blessings’. V.
P.B. pp. 44f.
(16) Lit., ‘reckoned themselves’.
(17) Mal. III, 18.
(18) Possibly a pun is intended here: the initial letters of rwtk ohvkt scg (‘he that serveth God and he’) = 101;
and of uscg tk (‘serveth Him not’) = 100. V. Marginal Gloss. in cur. edd.
(19) A silver coin, quarter of a shekel, and equal to a denar, v. Glos.
(20) For Elijah in Rabbinic literature v. J.E. vol. V, pp. 122f, espec. p. 124f. Cf. also supra pp. 17f. regarding the Angel
(21) Isa. XLVIII, 10.
(22) The word for ‘affliction’ ( hbg) also means poverty.
(23) V. Lev. Rab. ss. 13 and 35 for parallel readings.
(24) I.e., the wrong they have done is irreparable. This statement of R. Simeon b. Menasya, which declares that
connection with a prohibited relation, even if there be no issue, is irreparable, contradicts his statement in the Mishnah.
The other dicta are quoted merely because they form part of the Baraitha (Tosef.).
(25) I.e., to see if they are without blemish and so fit for sacrifice, for they are unfit to start with. Likewise ‘made
crooked’ can only refer to one who was originally worthy and later degenerated. V. R. Simeon b. Yohai's statement in
(26) Which is fit for sacrifice unless it becomes blemished.
(27) Prov. XXVII, 8.
(28) Jer. II, 5.
(29) The wrong then becomes irreparable only when there is issue.
(30) A stranger's connection with her, even if no issue results, makes her prohibited to her husband.
Talmud - Mas. Chagigah 10a
it was against her will,1 in the other it was with her consent. Or you may say: in both cases it was
against her will but there is no contradiction: the one case concerns a priest's wife2 and the other an
Neither was there any peace to him that went out or came in,3 Rab said: As soon as man goes forth
from Halachic4 to Scripture study he no longer has peace.5 And Samuel said: It means one who
leaves Talmud for Mishnah.6 And R. Johanan said: Even [if he goes] from Talmud to Talmud.7
MISHNAH. [THE LAWS CONCERNING] THE DISSOLUTION OF VOWS8 HOVER IN THE
AIR AND HAVE NOUGHT TO REST ON.9 THE LAWS CONCERNING THE SABBATH,
FESTAL-OFFERINGS, ACTS OF TRESPASS10 ARE AS MOUNTAINS HANGING BY A HAIR,
FOR THEY HAVE SCANT SCRIPTURAL BASIS BUT MANY LAWS. [THE LAWS
CONCERNING] CIVIL CASES AND [TEMPLE] SERVICES,11 LEVITICAL CLEANNESS AND
UNCLEANNESS, AND THE FORBIDDEN RELATIONS12 HAVE WHAT TO REST ON,13 AND
IT IS THEY THAT ARE THE ESSENTIALS OF THE TORAH.
GEMARA. It is taught: R. Eliezer said: They14 have something to rest on, for it is said: When one
shall clearly utter15 [a vow], when one shall clearly utter [a vow]:15 one [intimates] an utterance to
bind, and the other an utterance to dissolve. R. Joshua said: They have something to rest on, for it is
said: Wherefore I swore in My wrath.16 [It means,] I swore in My wrath,17 but I retracted.18 R. Isaac
said: They have something to rest on, for it is said: Whosoever is of a willing heart.19 Hanania, son
of the brother of R. Joshua, said: They have something to rest on, for it is said: I have sworn, and I
have confirmed it, to observe Thy righteous ordinances.20 Rab Judah said that Samuel said: Had I
been there I should have said to them: My [Scriptural proof] is better than yours, for it is said: He
shall not break his word.21 ‘He’ may not break it, but others may dissolve it for him. Raba said: To
all these [proofs] objection can be made except to that of Samuel, against which no objection can be
raised. For against R. Eliezer [it may be objected]: Perhaps [the verse is to be explained] according
to R. Judah , who said it in the name of R. Tarfon. For it is taught: R. Judah said in the name of R.
Tarfon: Indeed, neither of them becomes a Nazirite, because Naziriteship can be assumed only by
clear utterance.22 Against R. Joshua [it may be objected]: Perhaps this is the meaning of the verse: I
swore in My wrath and did not retract’. Against R. Isaac [it may be objected]: Perhaps [the verse
comes to] exclude the view of Samuel. For Samuel said: Though he determined in his heart,23 he
must still utter it with his lips.24 And [the verse]25 teaches us that even though he did not utter it with
his lips [it is binding]. Against Hanania, the son of the brother of R. Joshua [it may be objected]:
Perhaps [the verse is to be explained] according to R. Giddal who said it in the name of Rab. For R.
Giddal said that Rab said: Whence [is it to be deduced] that one may take an oath to fulfil a
precept?26 For it is said: ‘I have sworn, and I have confirmed it, to observe Thy righteous
ordinances’.27 But against Samuel's proof no objection can be raised. Raba, and some say, R.
Nahman b. Isaac, said: This is the meaning of the popular saying: Better one grain of pungent pepper
than a basketful of pumpkins.28
THE LAWS CONCERNING THE SABBATH. But they are written [in Scripture]!29 — No, it is
necessary [to state this] for the teaching of R. Abba. For R. Abba said: He who digs a hole on the
Sabbath and requires it only for the sake of its earth is not liable for it.30 According to which
authority [will this be]? According to R. Simeon, who said: one is not liable for work [performed on
the Sabbath] which is not required for itself.31 — You may even say that it is according to R.
Judah:32 there33 one is improving.34 here35 one is spoiling.36 But why does it say: AS MOUNTAINS
HANGING BY A HAIR?37
(1) In this case she may continue to live with her husband.
(2) In this case even if it was against her will she may no longer live with her husband (cf. Keth. 51b).
(3) Zech. VIII, 10.
(4) V. Glos. s.v. Halachah.
(5) Because the Halachah provides the ultimate ruling for conduct; cf. Hershon, Talmudic Miscellany, Ch. XI, No. 33,
and the lines in Longfellow's ‘Golden Legend’ beginning: The Kabbala and Talmud lore, etc. (quoted in Streane's
(6) Without the Talmudic explanation and discussion the Mishnah may be misleading.
(7) According to Rashi, from the Palestinian Talmud (or Jerusalmi) to the Babylonian Talmud which was more difficult;
cf. Sanh. 24a and B.M. 85b. But according to Tosaf., from either to the other before the first is properly understood.
(8) By a Sage, to whom the person who makes the vow explains his original intention which did not include the special
circumstances that now cause him to regret the vow; thus a vyrj j,p (‘a way of retraction’) is found whereby the
vow can be annulled. V. Ned. 9a, 10b.
(9) I.e., in Biblical teaching, and depend only on oral tradition; but cf. Num. XXX, 8-9.
(10) The misappropriation of holy things to secular use. V. Lev. V, 14-16.
(11) I.e., the offering of sacrifices.
(12) V. Lev. XVIII, 6f.
(13) [MS.M.: ‘have on whom to rest’, i.e., have good authority. V. Zeitlin, JQR. (N.S.) VII, p. 500].
(14) I.e., the laws concerning the dissolution of vows.
(15) Twice: in Lev. XXVII, 2 and Num. VI, 2.
(16) Ps. XCV, R.
(17) I.e., hastily, but in calmer mood I regretted the oath and retracted. The verse refers to God, of course; but the
inference is drawn from the anthropomorphism for ill-considered human vows.
(18) The ‘change of mind’ attributed here to God with regard to the generation of the wilderness must be explained by
reference to Sanh. 110b where the view is expressed that they have a share in the world to come, i.e., they were not
permitted to enter Canaan, their earthly possession, but it was granted them to enter their Heavenly heritage.
(19) Ex. XXXV, 5. But if the heart be no longer willing it is possible for the vow to be dissolved (cf. discussion in Shab.
(20) Ps. CXIX, 106. But where instead of confirmation there is retraction, the person may be released from his vow.
(21) Num. XXX, 3.
(22) If the assumption of the state of Nazir (v. Num. VI) was made the forfeit of a wager between two, R. Tarfon holds
that neither loser nor winner is a Nazir, because Naziriteship must be explicitly vowed and cannot be assumed
conditionally. This he deduces from one of the two verses cited by R. Eliezer (cf. Nazir 32b Mishnah and 34a top).
(23) To swear a certain oath.
(24) Otherwise it is no oath and he is not liable.
(25) Cited by R. Isaac.
(26) I.e., it is meritorious to do this that he may fulfil the precept with greater zeal.
(27) V. Ned. 7b.
(28) I.e., a sharp mind is better than mere learning.
(29) Why then does the Mishnah say that there is little Scriptural basis for them?
(30) But if he required the hole itself, he would be guilty of building on the Sabbath, v. Shab. 73b.
(31) E.g., a hole dug for the sake of its earth. R. Simeon stated this principle in connection with carrying out the dead on
the Sabbath (v. Shab. 93a).
(32) Who holds that one may not carry a corpse out on the Sabbath for burial (v. ibid.).
(33) I.e. , in the case of the corpse.
(34) I.e., burying the corpse and achieving something desired.
(35) I.e., in the case of the digging of a hole.
(36) The hole does not improve the ground nor is it desired for itself.
(37) Implying that some kind of support is afforded by the Torah.
Talmud - Mas. Chagigah 10b
— Because the Torah prohibited [on the Sabbath] purposed work,1 yet purposed work is not
mentioned in Scripture.2 [LAWS CONCERNING] FESTAL-OFFERINGS. But they are written [in
Scripture]!3 — No, it is necessary in the light of what R. Papa said to Abaye: Whence [do we know]
that [the verse]: And ye shall keep it a feast to the Lord4 signifies sacrifice? Perhaps the Divine Law
means: Celebrate a Festival!5 — If so, when it is written, That they may hold a feast unto Me in the
wilderness,6 would that also mean: Celebrate a festival! And should you say that it indeed means
that, surely it is written: And Moses said: ‘Thou must also give into our hand beasts of killing and
burnt-offerings’!7 — Perhaps the Divine Law means this: Eat ye and drink and celebrate a festival
before Me!8 — Do not think of this; for it is written: Neither shall the fat of My feast remain all
night until the morning.9 If now you suppose that it means a festival10 [only], has a festival fat? —
But perhaps the Divine Law means this: the fat that is offered during the course of the festival should
not remain overnight!11 — If so, then [it would imply] that only during the festival the fat may not
remain overnight, but throughout the year12 it may remain overnight; [but behold] it is written: All
night unto the morning!13 — [But] perhaps from this [verse alone] one would know it merely as a
positive precept, therefore Scripture wrote the other [verse to enjoin it] as a prohibition!14 — [To
enjoin it] as a prohibition there is another verse: Neither shall any of the flesh, which thou sacrificest
the first day at even, remain all night until the morning15 — [But] perhaps [this was required] in
order to impose upon him two prohibitions and one positive precept! — Rather, it can be deduced
from [the word] ‘wilderness’ which occurs in two passages. Here it is written: That they may hold a
feast unto Me in the wilderness.16 And elsewhere it is written: Did ye bring unto Me sacrifices and
offerings in the wilderness?17 Just as in the latter verse [it means] sacrifices, so in the former [it
means] sacrifices. Why then does it say: AS MOUNTAINS HANGING BY A HAIR?18 —
[Because] no inference may be drawn concerning statements of the Torah from statements of the
ACTS OF SACRILEGE. But they are written [in Scripture]! Rami b. Hama said: It is required
only for that which we have learnt. If the agent did his errand [committing thereby an act of
sacrilege],20 the householder21 is guilty of sacrilege;22 if he did not do his errand, the agent is guilty
of sacrilege. But why should he23 be guilty if he did his errand? Shall one man sin and another
become liable!24 That is why [the Mishnah says]: AS MOUNTAINS HANGING BY A HAIR. Raba
said: But what is the objection? Perhaps sacrilege is different, since we compare it with terumah25
through the analogous expressions for ‘sin’ [which occur in connection with both laws]:26 just as
there27 the agent of a person is like himself28 , so here the agent of a person is like himself. Rather,
said Raba, it must be required for the [following] teaching; If the householder remembered,29 but the
agent did not remember, the agent is guilty of sacrilege. What has the poor agent done!30 That is why
[the Mishnah says]: AS MOUNTAINS HANGING BY A HAIR. R. Ashi said: What is the
objection? Perhaps it is like [every other] case where one spent [in error] sacred money for secular
purposes!31 Rather, said R. Ashi, it must be required for that which we have learnt. If a man took
away a stone or a beam from Temple property, he is not guilty of sacrilege; but if he gave it to his
fellow,32 he himself is guilty, but his fellow is not guilty.33 See now, he has taken it, what difference
does it make whether he or his fellow [keeps it]! Therefore it says: LIKE MOUNTAINS HANGING
BY A HAIR. But what is the objection? Perhaps it is [to be explained] according to Samuel. For
Samuel said: Here
(1) Lit., ‘work of thought’ (cf, Ex. XXXV, 35 where it is rendered in E.V. ‘skillful workmanship’) i.e., work that
achieves the purpose primarily intended; v. supra n. 9. The various kinds of work prohibited on the Sabbath are deduced
from the different kinds of work involved in the Tabernacle; cf. Shab. 73a (Mishnah) Rashi a.l.
(2) It is only deduced from the juxtaposition of the section concerning the Sabbath and the section concerning the
construction of the Tabernacle in Ex. XXXV.
(3) Ex. XII, 14; Lev. XXIII, 41.
(5) I.e., without sacrifices. Tosaf. a.l. suggests: Celebrate it with dances, taking the rt. duj to mean to dance’; cf. Ps.
(6) Ex. V, 1.
(7) Ibid. X, 25.
(8) The ‘beasts for killing’ (Heb. ohjcz, E.V. ‘sacrifices’) would thus not refer to sacrifices (i.e., ‘peace-offerings) but
to animals killed for meat only.
(9) But should be burnt on the altar before dawn. Ibid. XXIII, 18.
(10) Heb. dj, which can mean both festival and festal-offering; cf. vdhdj, the Rabbinic word for festal-offering,
which is derived from the same root.
(11) But it does not follow that there is an obligation to bring a festal-offering.
(12) I.e., in the case of other sacrifices offered at non-festival times.
(13) Lev. VI, 2, which refers to all occasions, not just to festivals: it teaches us that the limbs and fat of sacrifices
slaughtered during the day may be burnt on the altar all night but not thereafter.
(14) The neglect of an ordinary positive precept is not indictable; but the transgression of a prohibition entails the
bringing of a sin-offering, if the offence was committed unwittingly, or the punishment of stripes (maximum thirty-nine),
if the transgression was wittingly committed, unless a severer penalty is ordained by Scripture. Exceptions not involving
stripes are (a) ‘a prohibitive precept transformed into a mandatory law’ i.e., when the transgression must be repaired by a
succeeding act; (b) a prohibition the transgression of which involves no action. Hence, the prohibition here referred to
does not involve stripes.
(15) Deut. XVI, 4.
(16) Ex. V,1.
(17) Amos V, 25.
(18) For deduction by analogy is considered support for a law.
(19) Heb. vkce Lit., ‘tradition’, a designation for post-Pentateuchal books of the Bible, which are deemed of lesser
authority than the Pentateuch or Torah. V. Bacher, Exeg. Term. I, 166, II, 185.
(20) E.g., sacred money was mixed with secular money, and not knowing of this, he asked the agent to buy a garment for
him with the money.
(21) I.e.,the one who instructed the agent.
(22) I.e., he has to refund the value of the sacred property plus a fifth and bring a trespass-offering.
(23) I.e., the householder.
(24) It is a Talmudic principle that no one is considered an agent or messenger for the committal of sin, i.e., the
transgressor is liable whether he commits the sin on his own behalf or for another.
(25) A portion of the produce, between a fortieth and a sixtieth, given to the priest. V. Glos.
(26) Lev. V, 15 (trespass), and Num. XVIII, 32 (terumah).
(27) I.e., in the case of terumah.
(28) Deduced from the words, ‘Ye also’, in Num. XVIII, 28.
(29) Before the agent committed sacrilege by spending the money for secular use.
(30) He did not know that he was misappropriating sacred money; why then should he be held responsible?
(31) Though a person committed sacrilege in error he is held responsible; so too here in the case of the agent.
(32) By this act he takes it out of the possession of the Temple.
(33) Derived from Lev. V, 16.
Talmud - Mas. Chagigah 11a
it refers to the treasurer [of the Sanctuary] to whom the building stones had been entrusted, so that
wherever it is, it is in his possession!1 Rather [it can be explained] from the latter part [of the
Mishnah]. If he built it into his house, he is not guilty of sacrilege until he dwells under it to the
value of a perutah.2 See now, he has effected a change therein,3 what difference does it make
whether he dwells [under it] or does not dwell [under it]!4 Therefore it says: LIke MOUNTAINS
HANGING BY A HAIR. But what is the objection? Perhaps it is [to be explained] according to Rab.
For Rab said: It refers to a case where he placed it over a roof-aperture,5 [in which case] if he dwells
in [the house] he is [guilty of sacrilege]. If he does not dwell in [the house] he is not [guilty]! —
Therefore, it must be after all as Raba said: and as for your objection that the same applies to any
person who spent [in error] sacred money for secular purposes, [one may answer]: There6 he knew
full well that he had sacred money, he should therefore have taken care; but here,7 how could he
know? Therefore [the Mishnah says]: AS MOUNTAINS HANGING BY A HAIR8
SCANT SCRIPTURAL BASIS BUT MANY LAWS. A Tanna taught: [The laws concerning
defilement through] leprosy-signs9 and tent-covering10 have scant Scriptural basis and many laws.
[You say] leprosy-signs have scant Scriptural basis? [On the contrary] leprosy-signs have
considerable Scriptural basis! — R. Papa said: It means as follows: Leprosy-signs have considerable
Scriptural basis and few laws, [defilement through] tent-covering has scant Scriptural basis and
many laws. But what practical difference does it make? — If you are in doubt about anything
concerning leprosy-signs search the Bible, but if you are in doubt about anything concerning
[defilement through] tent-covering search the Mishnah.11
CIVIL CASES. But they are written [in Scripture]!12 — It is necessary only for the teaching of
Rabbi. For it is taught: Rabbi said: Life for life13 [means] monetary compensation. You say [it
means] monetary compensation; but perhaps [it means] actual life? — ‘Giving’ is mentioned
below,14 and ‘giving’ is mentioned above:15 just as in the latter case [it means] monetary
compensation, so in the former case [it means] monetary compensation.
TEMPLE SERVICES. But they are written [in Scripture]! — It refers only to the carrying of the
blood [to the altar]. For it is taught: And they shall present;16 this [means] the receiving of the
blood.17 Now the Divine Law used for it an expression of ‘carrying’, as it is written: And the priest
shall present18 the whole and make it smoke upon the altar,19 and the Master said: This [means] the
carrying20 of the pieces [of the offering] to the altar ramp.21 This is to tell us that the ‘carrying’ [of
the blood] is not to be excluded from the category of ‘receiving’ [the blood].22
[LAWS OF] LEVITICAL CLEANNESS. But they are written [in Scripture]! — It refers only to
the measure of a ritual bath, which is not stated in Scripture. For it is taught: And he shall bathe in
water,23 [this means] in water of a ritual bath;24 all his flesh: [this means in] water which covers all
his body. And how much is this? A cubit25 by a cubit to the height of three cubits; and the Sages
fixed the measure of the ritual bath water at forty se'ahs.26
[LAWS CONCERNING LEVITICAL] UNCLEANNESS. But they are written [in Scripture]! —
It refers only to [defilement caused by touching a part of a dead] creeping creature, which is the size
of a lentil; this is not stated in Scripture. For it is taught: In them:27 I might think [it means] all of
them,28 therefore Scripture teaches: ‘Of them’.29 I might then think [it means] even a part of them;30
therefore Scripture says: ‘in them’. How is this to be explained? [It means that he is not defiled] till
he touches a part of one which is as the whole of one. The Sages fixed the measure at the size of a
lentil, for a snail31 is at first the size of a lentil. R. Jose b. R. Judah said: [It must be] the size of the
tail of a lizard.32
FORBIDDEN RELATIONS. But they are written [in Scripture]!
(1) Thus he does not commit sacrilege till he gives it (i.e., the stone or beam) into the possession of his fellow.
(2) A small coin. V. Glos.
(3) E.g., by chiselling the beam or stone and fixing it into the house: through this alteration it becomes his own property.
(4) He has already misappropriated sacred property.
(5) vcurt (cf. Hos. XIII, 3; II Kings VII, 2), an aperture in the roof leading to the ground floor (answering to the
Greek hypaithron, Roman compluvium), contrad. from iukj a garret-window in the wall projecting above the flat roof
(Jast.); cf. also Levy s.v. By placing the beam over the aperture he in no way alters it and can always restore it, and is
thus not guilty of sacrilege till he dwells in the house and enjoys the use of it.
(6) I.e., in the case quoted in the objection.
(7) I.e., in the case of the agent.
(8) For though the agent could hardly avoid the sacrilege, he is deemed to have committed sacrilege in error and is held
(9) V. Lev. XIII-XIV.
(10) V. Num. XIX, 14, from which it is inferred that men and utensils under the same ‘tent’ (i.e., overshadowed by the
same covering) as a corpse suffer corpse-defilement.
(11) I.e., oral tradition.
(12) I.e., why then does the Mishnah say that they merely have something to rest on?
(13) Ex. XXI, 23.
(14) I.e., in our own case.
(15) Ex. XXI, 22 (the preceding verse).
(16) Lev. I, 5.
(17) It is inferred from the fact that this clause comes immediately after the injunction to slaughter the animal; therefore
it is taken to refer to the ‘receiving’ of the blood, for the blood cannot be ‘carried’ till it is ‘received’.
(18) E.V. ‘offer’, though it is the same verb as in verse 5.
(19) Lev. I, 13.
(20) It cannot mean the burning of the pieces, for that is distinctly mentioned afterwards.
(21) I.e., the inclined plane leading to the altar. Cf. Mid. III, 3.
(22) I.e., though it is a part of the offering-service that can be omitted (e.g., if the animal is slaughtered close to the altar,
so that the blood can be sprinkled forthwith), nevertheless if it is not omitted, it is an essential part of the service and is
subject to all its conditions.
(23) Lev. XV, 16. This is evidently the verse intended. The words urac ,t (‘his flesh’), which really belong to
Lev. Xlv, 9 must be deleted.
(24) Lit., ‘gathering’ of water, which must contain water directly from a river or a spring, or rain water led directly to it;
but ihcuta ohn (lit., ‘drawn water i.e., water from a receptacle) if added to the ritual bath above a certain measure,
(25) A measure equal to the distance from the elbow to the tip of the middle finger (cf. Kel. XVII, 9.10).
(26) Measure of capacity, equal to six kabs; v. Pes. 109a.
(27) Lev. XI, 31 ovc; E. V. ‘(whosoever doth touch) them’.
(28) I.e., he becomes unclean when he touches the whole of the unclean animal.
(29) Ibid. v. 32.
(30) I. e., however small.
(31) ynj (cf. ibid. 30). Rashi renders, ‘snail’; Jast., ‘lizard (chameleon)’; Levy, ‘Bindschleiche’ (slowworm,
blindworm), or ‘Eidechse’ (lizard); Goldschmidt, ‘Schnecke’ (snail), ‘skink’ or ‘Blindschleiche’; B.D.B., a kind of
lizard. From Hul. 122a it seems to be a vertebrate. Danby translates it there ‘land crocodile’.
(32) vtykv (cf. ibid.) Jast. regards the first v, as part of the word, except in Mishnah, Tosefta and Sifra, where it is
the definite article attached to vtyk. The tail of the vtykv writhes after being cut off, thus showing independent
life; hence it meets the requirements of the verse by being a part of an unclean animal and yet an entire life by itself, and
is suitable as a measure for defilement. It is bigger than a lentil.
Talmud - Mas. Chagigah 11b
— This refers only to his daughter by a woman whom he had forced; this case is not written [in
Scripture]. For Raba said: R. Isaac b. Abdimi told me, It is to be deduced by analogy from [the
words] ‘they’, ‘they’,1 and from [the words] ‘lewdness’, ‘lewdness’.2
IT IS THEY THAT ARE THE ESSENTIALS OF THE TORAH, These are and those are not!3 —
Say, therefore, these and those are essentials of the Torah.
MISHNAH THE [SUBJECT OF] FORBIDDEN RELATIONS4 MAY NOT BE EXPOUNDED
IN THE PRESENCE OF THREE,5 NOR THE WORK OF CREATION6 IN THE PRESENCE OF
TWO, NOR [THE WORK OF] THE CHARIOT7 IN THE PRESENCE OF ONE, UNLESS HE IS A
SAGE AND UNDERSTANDS OF HIS OWN KNOWLEDGE. WHOSOEVER SPECULATES
UPON FOUR THINGS, A PITY8 FOR HIM! HE IS AS THOUGH HE HAD NOT COME INTO
THE WORLD, [TO WIT], WHAT IS ABOVE,9 WHAT IS BENEATH,10 WHAT BEFORE, WHAT
AFTER.11 AND WHOSOEVER TAKES NO THOUGHT FOR THE HONOUR OF HIS MAKER,12
IT WERE A MERCY13 IF HE HAD NOT COME INTO THE WORLD.
GEMARA. You say at first: NOR [THE WORK OF] THE CHARIOT IN THE PRESENCE OF
ONE;14 and then you say: UNLESS HE IS A SAGE AND UNDERSTANDS OF HIS OWN
KNOWLEDGE! — This is the meaning: the forbidden relations may not be expounded to three,15
nor the work of creation to two, nor [the work of] the chariot to one, unless he is a Sage and
understands of his own knowledge.16
THE FORBIDDEN RELATIONS MAY NOT BE EXPOUNDED IN THE PRESENCE OF
THREE. What is the reason? Shall one say, because it is written: Whosoever to any that is near of
kin to him?17 ‘Whosoever’18 [implies] two, ‘near of kin to him’ [implies] one; and the Divine Law
said: Ye shall not approach to uncover their nakedness.19 But then since it is written: Whosoever
curseth his God,20 Whosoever giveth of his seed unto Molech,21 are these [passages] also [to be
interpreted] thus! — These, therefore, must be required to make Gentiles subject to the prohibition
concerning blasphemy22 and idolatry like the Israelites; then this [verse]23 is also required to make
Gentiles subject to the prohibition concerning the forbidden relations like the Israelites!24 It must be
inferred, therefore, from the verse: Therefore shall ye keep My charge.25 ‘Ye shall keep’ [implies]
two,26 ‘My charge’ [implies] one; and the Divine Law said: That ye do not any of these abominable
customs.27 But then since it is written: Ye shall keep the Sabbath therefore,28 And ye shall observe
the feast of unleavened bread,29 And ye shall keep the charge of the holy things,30 are these
[passages] also [to be interpreted] thus! — Therefore, said R. Ashi, THE FORBIDDEN
RELATIONS MAY NOT BE EXPOUNDED IN THE PRESENCE OF THREE must mean: the
secrets31 of the forbidden relations may not be expounded to three.32 What is the reason? It is a
logical conclusion:33 when two sit before their master, one engages in discussion with his master and
the other inclines his ear to the instruction; but [when there are] three, one engages in discussion
with his master, and the other two engage in discussion with one another and do not know what their
master is saying, and may come to permit that which is prohibited in the matter of the forbidden
relations. If so, [the rule should apply to] the whole Torah also!34 The [subject of] forbidden
relations is different, for the master said:35 Robbery and the forbidden relations, a man's soul covets
and lusts for them. If so, [the rule should apply to] robbery also! [In the case of] the forbidden
relations, whether [the opportunity] be before him or not before him, a man's inclination is strong;
[in the case of] robbery, if [the opportunity] is before him, his inclination is strong, but if it is not
before him, his inclination is not strong.
NOR THE WORK OF CREATION IN THE PRESENCE OF TWO. Whence [do we infer] this?
— For the Rabbis taught: For ask thou now of the days past;36 one may inquire,37 but two may not
inquire. One might have thought that one may inquire concerning the pre-creation period, therefore
Scripture teaches: Since the day that God created man upon the earth.38 One might have thought that
one may [also] not inquire concerning the six days of creation,39 therefore Scripture teaches: The
days past40 which were before thee.41 One might have thought one may [also] inquire concerning
what is above and what is below, what before and what after, therefore the text teaches: And from
one end of heaven unto the other.42 [Concerning the things that are] from one end of heaven unto the
other thou mayest inquire, but thou mayest not inquire what is above, what is below, what before,
(1) The word vbv (‘they’) occurs in Lev. XVIII, 17 in connection with a legitimate daughter, and ibid. v. 10 in
connection with the grand-daughter of an illegitimate wife (v. Yeb. 97a). By analogy, we infer that an illegitimate
daughter is also a forbidden relation.
(2) Having established an analogy between the legitimate and illegitimate daughter (v. n. 7), we go farther and say the
word vnz (‘lewdness’). which implies the penalty of burning (v. ibid. XX, 14) for connection with one's legitimate
daughter, applies also to connection with one's illegitimate daughter; v. Yeb., Sonc. ed., p. 4, nn. 8-12.
(3) I.e., the laws explicitly stated in Scripture are essentials of the Torah, and those not so explicitly stated are not!
(4) V. p. 50, n. 8.
(5) I.e., it is forbidden to expound this subject in the presence of more than two.
(6) V. Gen. I, 1-3; J.E. vol. IV, pp. 280f,s. ‘Cosmogony’, and vol. VIII, p. 235. The term ,hatrc vagn (Work
of Creation) does not include the whole Talmudic cosmogony, only its esoteric aspects. The cosmogonic details
mentioned infra in the Gemara (pp. 63f), such as the ten elements, the ten agencies etc., do not form part of the secret
doctrine of Ma'aseh Bere'shith, for the Mishnah expressly forbids the teaching of the creation mysteries in public. The
views recorded in the Talmud regarding the work of creation seem to belong chiefly to the realm of Aggadah. As regards
their origin, they cannot with certainty be connected with the theosophic and cosmogonic doctrines of the Apocrypha
and Pseudepigrapha, nor with Gnosticism; nor on the other hand can the mysticism of the Geonic period (e.g., as
preserved in Sefer Yezirah with reference to the heavenly halls, angelology etc.) be regarded as a direct continuation of
the Talmudic doctrines.
(7) V. Ezek. I, 4f, X, and Isa. VI; cf. Meg. IV, 10; and v. J.E. vol. VIII, p. 498. The mysteries of Creation and the Chariot
were favourite themes with the mystics; for further information v. J.E. vol. III, p. 456f, s. ‘Cabala’.
(8) Heb. hu,r or hu,r; but Mishnah ed., MS. M. and var. lec. in Aruch have hutr (‘he is looked upon as though’).
Jastrow, who takes hu,r to mean ‘relief, mercy, pity’, renders as in text; Rashi translates: ‘it were better for him’,
taking the root meaning to be ‘mercy’; Levy translates: ‘it were more advantageous for him’; Goldschmidt and Danby:
‘it were better’.
(9) Sc., the sky stretching over the heads of the ‘living creatures of the Chariot (Rashi).
(10) Sc., the ‘living creatures’.
(11) I.e., beyond the sky eastward and westward (Rashi). This makes the reference spatial, and this explanation is
supported by the use of the terms infra (p. 62); but from the Gemara 16a and the Tosef. it is clear that the terms have also
a temporal significance. i.e., what happened before Creation and what will happen hereafter (Tosaf. a.l.).
(12) Explained infra 16a.
(13) V. p. 59, n. 5.
(14) This means, apparently, that a person is not permitted to study the mysteries of the Chariot even by himself,
although the fact that he can study without the aid of a teacher shows that he is a Sage and understands of his own
(15) I.e.,the number refers to the pupils and does not include the teacher.
(16) I.e., is able to speculate by himself. Such a disciple will not require to ask his teacher questions, for these mysteries
may not be explained explicitly. D.S. omits the ‘and’; cf. p. 77.
(17) Lev. XVIII, 6.
(18) Heb. aht aht lit., ‘man man’, i.e., two men, as a minimum.
(19) Ibid. I.e., to reveal the reasons underlying the laws of the forbidden relations.
(20) Ibid. XXIV, 15.
(21) Ibid. XX, 2.
(22) Lit., ‘blessing of God’, a euphemism.
(23) Ibid. XVIII, 6.
(24) For the seven ‘Noachian Precepts’ which all humanity, Gentiles as well as Jews, must observe v. Sanh. 56a-b,
(Sonc. ed. pp. 381-2 and nn. a.l.)
(25) Lev. XXIV v. 30.
(26) The plural (‘Ye’) implies at least two.
(27) Ibid. V. p. 60, n. 8.
(28) Ex. XXXI, 14.
(29) Ibid. XII, 17.
(30) Num. XVIII, 5.
(31) I.e., according to Rashi, such forbidden relations as are not explicitly mentioned in Scripture, but are inferred, e.g., a
man's daughter by a woman he violated, the mother of his father-in-law, or the mother of his mother-in-law (v. Sanh.
75a); according to Maharsha, the secrets of the reasons for the prohibitions; according to Goldschmidt, the details and
subtleties of the subject.
(32) vakak: this marginal correction is indubitably correct as against vakac (‘in the presence of three’), of cur.
(33) I.e., it is founded on reason and not deduced from Scripture.
(34) I.e., that not more than two pupils may study with the master.
(35) Mak. 23b.
(36) Heb. lit., ‘the first days’, i.e., the days of creation; Deut. IV, 32.
(37) I.e., one pupil may study with the master.
(39) I.e., up to the creation of man; for the verse quoted above permits inquiry only from the time of the creation of
Adam, which occurred at the end of the sixth day.
(40) Heb. lit., ‘the first days’, i.e., even from the first day onward.
Talmud - Mas. Chagigah 12a
But now that this1 is inferred from [the expression] ‘ From one end of heaven unto the other’,2
wherefore do I need [the expression], ‘Since the day that God created man upon the earth’? — To
intimate that which R. Eleazar taught. For R. Eleazar said: The first man [extended]3 from the earth
to the firmament, as it is said: Since the day that God created man upon the earth;4 but as soon as he
sinned,5 the Holy One, blessed be He, placed His hand upon him and diminished him,6 for it is said:
Thou hast fashioned me7 after and before,8 and laid Thine hand upon me.9
Rab Judah said that Rab said: The first man [extended]10 from one end of the world to the other,11
for it is said: ‘Since the day that God created man upon the earth, and from one end of heaven to the
other’; as soon as he sinned, the Holy One, blessed be He, placed His hand upon him and diminished
him, for it is said: ‘And laid Thine hand upon me’. If so, the verses12 contradict one another! —
They both [have] the same dimensions.13
Rab Judah further said that Rab said: Ten14 things were created the first day, and they are as
follows: heaven and earth, Tohu [chaos], Bohu [desolation],15 light and darkness, wind and water,
the measure of day and the measure of night.16 Heaven and earth, for it is written: In the beginning
God created heaven and earth.17 Tohu and Bohu, for it is written: And the earth was Tohu and
Bohu.18 Light and darkness: darkness, for it is written: And darkness was upon the face of the
deep;18 light, for it is written: And God said, Let there be light.19 Wind and water, for it is written:
And the wind20 of God hovered over the face of the waters.21 The measure of day and the measure of
night, for it is written: And there was evening and there was morning, one day.22 It is taught: Tohu is
a green line that encompasses the whole world, out of which darkness proceeds, for it is said: He
made darkness His hiding-place round about Him.23 Bohu, this means the slimy24 stones that are
sunk in the deep, out of which the waters proceed, for it is said: And he shall stretch over it the line
of confusion [Tohu] and the plummet of emptiness [Bohu].25
But was the light created on the first day? For, behold, it is written: And God set them in the
firmament of the heaven,26 and it is [further] written: And there was evening and there was morning
a fourth day27 — This is [to be explained] according to R. Eleazar. For R. Eleazar said: The light
which the Holy One, blessed be He, created on the first day, one could see thereby from one end of
the world to the other; but as soon as the Holy One, blessed be He, beheld the generation of the
Flood and the generation of the Dispersion,28 and saw that their actions were corrupt, He arose and
hid it from them, for it is said: But from the wicked their light is withholden.29 And for whom did he
reserve it? For the righteous in the time to come,30 for it is said: And God saw the light, that it was
good;31 and ‘good’ means only the righteous, for it is said: Say ye of the righteous that he is good.32
As soon as He saw the light that He had reserved for the righteous, He rejoiced, for it is said: He
rejoiceth at the light of the righteous.33 Now Tannaim [differ on the point]: The light which the Holy
One, blessed be He, created on the first day one could see and look thereby from one end of the
world to the other; this is the view of R. Jacob. But the Sages say: It34 is identical with the
luminaries;35 for they were created on the first day, but they were not hung up [in the firmament] till
the fourth day.36
R. Zulra b. Tobiah said that Rab said: by ten things37 was the world created: By wisdom38 and by
understanding,39 and by reason,40 and by strength,41 and by rebuke,42 and by might,43 by
righteousness and by judgment,44 by lovingkindness and by compassion.45 By wisdom and
understanding, for it is written: The Lord by wisdom founded the earth; and by understanding
established the heavens.46 By reason, for it is written: By His reason47 the depths were broken up.48
By strength and might, for it is written: Who by His strength setteth fast the mountains, Who is
girded about with might.49 By rebuke, for it is written: The pillars of heaven were trembling, but
they became astonished at His, rebuke.50 By righteousness and judgment, for it is written:
Righteousness and judgment are the foundation of Thy throne.51 By lovingkindness and compassion,
for it is written: Remember, O Lord, Thy compassions and Thy mercies; for they have been from of
old.52 Rab Judah further said: At the time that the Holy One, blessed be He, created the world, it
went on expanding like two clues53 of warp, until the Holy One, blessed be He, rebuked it and
brought it to a standstill, for it is said: ‘The pillars of heaven were trembling, but they became
astonished at His rebuke’. And that, too, is what Resh Lakish said: What is the meaning of the verse,
I am God Almighty?54 [It means], I am He that said to the world: Enough!55 Resh Lakish said: When
the Holy One, blessed be He, created the sea, it went on expanding, until the Holy One, blessed be
He, rebuked it and caused it to dry up, for it is said: He rebuketh the sea and maketh it dry, and drieth
up all the rivers.56
Our Rabbis taught: Beth Shammai say: Heaven was created first and afterwards the earth was
created, for it is said: In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.57 Beth Hillel say: Earth
was created first and afterwards heaven, for it is said: In the day that the Lord God made earth and
heaven.58 Beth Hillel said to Beth Shammai: According to your view, a man builds the upper storey
[first] and afterwards builds the house! For it is said: It is he that buildeth His upper chambers in the
heaven,59 and hath founded His vault upon the earth.60 Said Beth Shammai to Beth Hillel: According
to your view, a man makes the footstool [first], and afterwards he makes the throne!61 For it is said:
Thus saith the Lord, The Heaven is My throne and the earth is My footstool.62 But the Sages say:
Both were created at the same time.63 For it is said: Yea, Mine hand hath laid the foundation of the
earth, and My right hand hath spread out the heavens: When I call unto them they stand up
together.64 And the others?65 What is the meaning of ‘together’? — [It means] that they cannot be
loosened from one another.66 However, the verses contradict one another! — Resh Lakish answered:
When they were created, He created heaven [first], and afterwards He created the earth; but when He
stretched them forth He stretched forth the earth [first], and afterwards He stretched forth heaven.
What does ‘heaven’ [Shamayim] mean? R. Jose b. Hanina said: It means, ‘There is water’.67 In a
Baraitha it is taught: [It means], ‘fire and water68 ;’ this teaches that the Holy One, blessed be He,
brought them and mixed69 them one with the other and made from them the firmament.
R. Ishmael questioned R. Akiba when they were going on a journey together, saying to him: Thou
who hast waited70 twenty-two years upon Nahum of Gimzo,71 who used to explain the [particle]
Eth72 throughout the Torah, [tell me] what exposition did he give of [Eth] the heaven and [Eth] the
earth?73 Said [R. Akiba] to him: If it had said, ‘heaven and earth’, I could have said that Heaven and
Earth74 were names of the Holy One, blessed be He.75 But now that it says: ‘[Eth] the heaven and
[Eth] the earth’, heaven [means] the actual heaven, and earth [means] the actual earth.
(1) I.e., that inquiry may not go beyond the first day of creation.
(2) I.e., since one may not inquire beyond the extent of heaven, it follows that one may not inquire beyond the time of its
existence, i.e., concerning what happened prior to the creation.
(3) I.e., in height: this is the usual explanation. But Goldschmidt suggests that the meaning might also be: his vision
extended from earth to heaven. Cf. R. Eleazar's statement infra p. 63 and n. 2 a. l.
(4) The verse continues, (lit.,) ‘and unto the end of heaven’.
(5) Lit., ‘became of bad odour’.
(6) The Yalkut Shim'oni (S. 827, Deut. IV, 32) adds ‘and brought him down to one hundred cubits’. This is probably
derived from the word vfpf ‘Thine hand’ in the verse that follows, the numerical value of ;f (‘hand’) being a
hundred. Cf. also B.B. 75a (and Rashbam a.l.) and Sanh. 100a (and Rashi a.l.).
(7) Heb., hb,rm lit., (as E.V.) ‘Thou hast hemmed me in’. Here, however, it is taken to mean the same as hb,rmh
(8) I.e., there were, so to speak, two creations of man: the first when he extended to heaven, the second when his stature
(9) Ps. CXXXIX, 5.
(10) V. p. 62, n. 10.
(11) I.e., lying down, he stretched from east to west, which is calculated to be a journey of five hundred years; v, Tosaf.
(12) I.e., the parts of Deut. IV, 32 quoted by R. Eleazar and Rab Judah respectively.
(13) The distance from east to west is the same as from the earth to heaven, v. infra 13a. But in Tam. 31b-32a (the
Scholars of the South, i.e., of Alexandria) are reported to have said, in reply to a question put to them by Alexander the
Great, that the distance from east to west is greater than that from earth to heaven.
(14) The older schools refer to a lesser number of elements viz., eight, six, four, three, or even two. Cf. Gen. Rab. X, 1;
Pirke R. Eliezer III; Ex. Rab. XIII; Jellinek, B.H. ii, 23-29, Intro. Xlii; also infra, where Tahu and Bohu are the two
primal elements whence the other two, darkness and water, emanate. V. further, Slavonic Book of Enoch (24-30).
(15) A.V. ‘without form, and void’; R. V., ‘waste and void’; American Jewish Version, ‘unformed and void’ (Gen. I, 2).
(16) I.e., night and day comprising together twenty-four hours. (Rashi, Jast.). Goldschmidt trans. ‘the nature of day etc.’;
cf. Ber. 11b.
(17) Gen. I, 1,
(18) Ibid., v. 2.
(19) Ibid:, v. 3.
(20) E.V. ‘spirit’.
(21) Ibid., v. 2.
(22) Ibid.,v. 5.
(23) Ps. XVIII, 12.
(24) Heb., ,unkupn, which Jastrow renders, ‘smooth (chaotic) stones’. Levy: ‘stones sunken in the primal mire,
chaos’; cf. also Targ. to Job XXVIII, 3; Zeb. 54a, Bez. 24a.
(25) Isa. XXXIV, 11.
(26) Gen. I, 17.
(27) Ibid., v. 19.
(28) I.e., the generation which built the Tower of Babel, and in consequence God confounded their language and
scattered them over the earth. V. Gen. XI, 9.
(29) Job. XXXVIII, 15.
(30) I.e., the Messianic era; cf. Aboth II, 16.
(31) Gen. I, 4.
(32) Isa. III, 10. E.V. ‘that it shall be well with him.
(33) Prov. XIII, 9. E.V. ‘the light of the righteous rejoiceth.’
(34) I.e., the light created on the first day.
(35) V. Gen. I, 14f (E.V. ‘lights’).
(36) Cf. Gen. Rab. I, 14, and Rashi to Gen. I, 14.
(37) I.e., potencies or agencies. A lesser number is mentioned by the older school (cf. p. 63, n. 5). Cf. Ab. V, 1; also the
‘Ten Sefirot’ in J. E. vol. XI, p. 154f.
(38) I.e., the ability to understand what one learns.
(39) I.e., deductive power.
(40) I.e., deliberative contemplation.
(41) I.e., physical strength.
(42) I.e.,the application of restraint or limitation.
(43) I.e., moral power.
(44) I.e., the enforcement of justice.
(45) I.e., the feeling which prompts the action of lovingkindness.
(46) Prov. III, 19.
(47) E.V. ‘knowledge’.
(48) Ibid. v. 20.
(49) Ps. LXV, 7.
(50) Job XXVI, 11. I.e., at first the pillars of heaven were weak and shaky, till God rebuked them, when, like a person
taken aback by astonishment, they stiffened and hardened (V. Rashi on verse). E.V. renders tremble and are astonished
(51) Ps. LXXXIX, 15.
(52) Ibid, XXV, 6.
(53) A clue of thread, of rope, etc. (Jast.).
(54) Gen. XVII, 1; XXXV, 11.
(55) hsa ‘Almighty’, is explained as a compound of a ‘who (said)’,hs ‘Enough’.
(56) Nah. I, 4.
(57) Gen. I, 1.
(58) Ibid. II, 4.
(59) Thus heaven was the upper storey.
(60) Amos IX, 6.
(61) The size of the footstool cannot be determined till the throne has been made.
(62) Isa, LXVI, 1.
(63) C. Taylor in ‘Sayings of the Jewish Fathers’, p. 107. n. 40, points out that ‘the three views’ (of the Schools of
Shammai and Hillel, and of the Sages) may be taken as texts for three philosophies, viz., idealism, evolutionism and
dualism (quoted by Streane).
(64) Ibid. XLVIII, 13. From the word ‘together’ the inference is drawn that heaven and earth are coeval.
(65) I.e., what reply have the Schools of Shammai and Hillel to the argument of the Sages?
(66) Thus ‘together’ refers to their physical structure and not to their time of origin.
(67) I.e., ohna is explained as a compound of oa (‘there’) and ohn (‘water’).
(68) I.e., ohna is explained as a compound of at (‘fire’) and ohn (‘water’), the t of at being omitted.
(69) Lit., ‘mixed by beating’.
(70) I.e., hast been his disciple. Cf. Ber. 47b: ‘Even if one has studied the Bible, and the Mishnah, but has failed to wait
upon scholars, he is considered an ‘Am ha-arez (ignoramus); The ministration (of the disciples to the doctors) of the Law
is greater than the direct teaching thereof’.
(71) In Judea (v. G. A. Smith's ‘The historical Geography of the Holy Land’, p. 202, n. 1). Heb. uz od, always in two
words, and explained (Ta'an. 21a, J. Shek. V, 15) as a sobriquet given to the scholar on account of his motto
vcuyk uz od (‘This, too, will be for the best’), with which he explained his trust in the goodness of Providence
even in the most trying circumstances (v. Ta'an 21a). He interpreted the whole Torah according to the rule of
yughnu hucr (‘amplification and limitation’, v. Shebu. 26a).
(72) Heb. ,t, which is either (a) the sign of the defined object as in Gen. I, 1, or (b) the preposition meaning with.
Nahum of Gimzo explained every instance of the accusative particle as indicating the inclusion in the object of
something besides that which is explicitly mentioned. For the sole exception (Deut. X, 20), v. Pes. 22b, where
‘Nehemiah the Imsoni’ is an error for ‘Nahum the Gimsoni’ or man of Gimzo (v. Graetz in MGWJ., 1870, p. 527). The
interpretation of ,t given here is grammatical rather than Midrashic or homiletical. For the hucr explanation of ,t
in this verse, which includes the sun and moon etc., v. Gen. Rab. I, 14.
(73) Gen. I, 1.
(74) This is the reading of Bah and Maharsha: cur. edd. omit the words, ‘and the earth’.
(75) And the subject of trc (‘He created’).
Talmud - Mas. Chagigah 12b
But why do we have ‘[Eth] the earth’?1 — To put heaven before earth.2
‘And the earth was unformed and void’.3 Consider: [Scripture] began at first with heaven, why
then does it proceed to relate [first] the work of the earth?4 — The School of R. Ishmael taught: It is
like a human king5 who said to his servants: Come early to my door. He rose early and found women
and men. Whom does he praise? The ones who are not accustomed to rise early but yet did rise
It is taught: R. Jose says: Alas for people that they see but know not what they see, they stand but
know not on what they stand. What does the earth rest on? On the pillars, for it is said: Who shaketh
the earth out of her place, and the pillars thereof tremble.7 The pillars upon the waters, for it is said:
To Him that spread forth the earth above the waters.8 The waters upon the mountains, for it is said:
The waters stood above the mountains.9 The mountains on the wind, for it is said: For, lo, He that
formeth the mountains, and createth the wind.10 The wind upon the storm, for it is said: The wind,
the storm maketh its substance.11 Storm is suspended on the arm of the Holy One, blessed be He, for
it is said: And underneath12 are the everlasting arms.13 But the Sages say: [The world] rests on
twelve pillars,14 for it is said: He set the borders to the peoples according to the number [of the
tribes] of the children of Israel.15 And some say seven pillars, for it is said: She hath hewn out her
seven piliars.16 R. Eleazar b. Shammua’ says: [It rests] on one pillar, and its name is ‘Righteous’, for
it is said: But ‘Righteous’ is the foundation of the world. 17
R. Judah said: There are two firmaments, for it is said: Behold, unto the Lord thy God belongeth
heaven, and the heaven of heavens.18 Resh Lakish said: [There are] seven, namely, Wilon,19
Rakia’,20 Shehakim,21 Zebul,22 Ma'on,23 Makon,24 ‘Araboth.25 Wilon serves no purpose except that
it enters in the morning and goes forth in the evening26 and renews every day the work of creation,
for it is said: That stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain,27 and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell
in.28 Rakia’ is that in which sun and moon, stars and constellations are set, for it is said: And God set
them29 in the firmament [Rakia’] of the heaven.30 Shehakim is that in which millstones stand and
grind31 manna for the righteous for it is said: And He commanded the skies [Shehakim] above, and
opened the doors of heaven; and He caused manna to rain upon them for food etc.32 Zebul is that in
which [the heavenly] Jerusalem33 and the Temple and the Altar are built, and Michael, the great
Prince,34 stands and offers up thereon an offering, for it is said: I have surely built Thee a house of
habitation [Zebul], a place for Thee to dwell in for ever.35 And whence do we derive that it is called
heaven? For it is written: Look down from heaven, and see, even from Thy holy and glorious
habitation.36 Ma'on is that in which there are companies of Ministering Angels, who utter [divine]
song by night, and are silent by day for the sake of Israel's glory,37 for it is said: By day the Lord
doth command His lovingkindness,38 and in the night His song is with me.39
Resh Lakish said: Whoever occupies himself with [the study of] the Torah by night, the Holy One,
blessed be He, draws over him a chord of lovingkindness40 by day, for it is said: ‘By day the Lord
doth command His lovingkindness’? Because ‘by night His song41 is with me’. And there are some
who say: Resh Lakish said: Whoever occupies himself with the study of the Torah in this world,
which is like the night, the Holy One, blessed be He, draws over him a chord of lovingkindness in
the world to come, which is like the day,42 for it is said: ‘By day the Lord doth command His
lovingkindness, for by night His song is with me’.
R. Levi said: Whoever leaves off the study of the Torah and occupies himself with idle talk, he is
made to eat coals of broom,43 for it is said: They pluck salt-wort through idle talk,44 and the roots of
the broom are their food.45
And whence do we derive that it46 is called heaven? — For it is said: Look forth from Thy holy
habitation [ma'on], from heaven.47 Makon48 is that in which there are the stores of snow49 and stores
of hail, and the loft of harmful dews and the loft of raindrops,50 the chamber of the whirlwind and
storm,51 and the cave of vapour, and their doors are of fire, for it is said: The Lord will open unto
thee His good treasure,52 But are these to be found in the firmament? Surely, they are to be found on
the earth, for it is written: Praise the Lord from the earth, ye sea-monsters, and all deeps; fire and
hail, snow and vapour, stormy wind, fulfilling his word!53 — Rab Judah said in the name of Rab:
David entreated concerning them, and caused them to come down to the earth. He said before Him:
Lord of the universe, Thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness; let not evil sojourn with
Thee;54 righteous art Thou, O Lord, let not evil sojourn in Thy abode.55 And whence do we derive
that it56 is called heaven? For it is written: Then hear Thou in heaven, Thy dwelling place
‘Araboth is that in which there are Right and Judgment and Righteousness,58 the treasures of life
and the treasures of peace and the treasures of blessing, the souls of the righteous and the spirits and
the souls59 which are yet to be born, and dew wherewith the Holy One, blessed be He, will hereafter
revive the dead. Right and Judgment, for it is written: Right60 and judgment are the foundations of
Thy throne.61 Righteousness, for it is written: And He put on righteousness as a coat of mail.62 The
treasures of life, for it is written: For with Thee is the fountain of life.63 And the treasures of peace,
for it is written: And called it, ‘The Lord is peace’.64 And the treasures of blessing, for it is written:
he shall receive a blessing from the Lord.65 The souls of the righteous, for it is written: Yet the soul
of my lord shall be bound up in the bundle of life with the Lord thy God.66 The spirits and the souls
which are yet to be born, for it is written: For the spirit that enwrappeth itself is from Me, and the
souls which I have made.67 And the dew wherewith the Holy One, blessed be He, will hereafter
revive the dead, for it is written: A bounteous rain didst Thou pour down, O God; when Thine
inheritance was weary, Thou didst confirm it.68 There [too] are the Ofanim69 and the Seraphim,70
and the Holy Living Creatures,71 and the Ministering Angels,72 and the Throne of God; and the
King, the Living God, high and exalted, dwells over them in ‘Araboth, for it is said: Extol Him that
rideth upon Araboth73 whose name is the Lord.74 And whence do we derive that it75 is called
heaven? From the word ‘riding’, which occurs in two Biblical passages. Here it is written: ‘Extol
Him that rideth upon Araboth’. And elsewhere it is written: Who rideth upon the heaven as thy
help.76 And darkness and cloud and thick darkness surround Him, for it is said: He made darkness
His hiding-place, His pavilion round about Him, darkness of waters, thick clouds of skies.77 But is
there any darkness before Heaven?78 For behold it is written: He revealeth the deep and secret
things; He knoweth, what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with Him.79 — There is no
contradiction: the one [verse]80
(1) I,e., the first Eth in the verse has been explained; but what is the purpose of the second?
(2) I.e., to show that the creation of the heaven preceded that of the earth. Had this second Eth been omitted, I might
have thought that heaven and earth were created at the same time.
(3) Gen. I, 2.
(4) I.e., its development from a state of dark chaos to light and ordered life.
(5) Lit., ‘a king of flesh and blood’.
(6) Rashi explains the application of the parable thus: Since heaven was summoned to appear first, the earth was in the
position of one not accustomed to rise early; furthermore, all the work of the earth is slow, whilst the work of heaven is
swift. Nevertheless, the earth appeared equally early with heaven, for they were created at the same time (according to
the view of the Sages, v. p. 66), therefore Scripture begins to relate the work of the earth first. But Maharsha explains
that the earth obeyed God's will first and came into being before heaven (according to the view of Beth Hillel, ibid.) just
as the women in the parable actually came before the men.
(7) Job IX, 6.
(8) Ps. CXXXVI, 6.
(9) Ibid. CIV, 6.
(10) Amos IV, 13. The mention of the mountains and the wind in the same verse shows that the former were dependent
or suspended upon the latter.
(11) So Rashi. E.V., ‘Stormy wind, fulfilling His word. Ps. CXLVIII, 8.
(12) Sc. all creation.
(13) Deut. XXXIII, 27.
(14) The pillars here refer to those mentioned by R. Jose (v. supra), who, however, did not give their number.
(15) Deut. XXXII, 8.
(16) Prov. IX, 1.
(17) Ibid. X, 25. E.V., ‘But the righteous is an everlasting foundation’. Maharsha compares this discussion of the number
of the pillars with the discussion of the number of the precepts in Mak., Sonc. ed., pp. 169f.
(18) Deut. X, 14.
(19) I.e., ‘Curtain’, from Lat. Velum.
(20) I.e., ‘Expanse, firmament’.
(21) Lit., ‘Clouds’, from eja, ‘dust’ (cf. Isa. XL, 15).
(22) B.D.B.: ‘Elevation, height, lofty abode’; N.H., ‘Temple’. Jastrow: ‘(place of offering or entertainment) residence,
(23) I.e., ‘Dwelling, habitation’.
(24) I.e., ‘Fixed or established place, foundation, residence’.
(25) V. Ps, LXVIII, 5. Levy: Perhaps from crg, ‘to be dark’ (cf. crg evening) and syn. with kprg: (thick
darkness, heavy cloud, in which God dwells; cf. Ex. XX, 18).
(26) According to Rashi, Wilon (‘Curtain’) draws in every morning, and thus causes the light of day to become visible;
in the evening it draws out and hides the daylight. This process constitutes the renewal of the work of creation. But
Tosaf. explains that Wilon produces the light of day, and when it withdraws at night darkness prevails.
(27) Thus there is a curtain-like heaven.
(28) Isa. XL, 22.
(29) I.e., the heavenly luminaries.
(30) Gen. I, 17.
(31) There is probably a play here on the meaning of eja (the root of shehakim), which means ‘to rub away,
pulverize, grind’ (cf. Ex. XXX, 36 and Job, XIV, 19).
(32) Ps. LXXVIII, 23, 24.
(33) Cf. Ta'an. 5a: ‘The Holy One blessed be He, said: I shall not enter the Jerusalem which is above, until I enter the
Jerusalem which is below’.
(34) Michael is Israel's Guardian Angel; cf. Dan. XII, 1 and Yoma 77a. Num. Rab. s. 2, Hul. 40a.
(35) I Kings VIII, 13; the earthly Temple corresponds to the heavenly Sanctuary.
(36) Isa. LXIII, 15.
(37) Because Israel utters God's praise by day.
(38) By silencing the angels by day. God shows lovingkindness to the children of Israel, who are thus permitted to win
divine grace by their prayer. Cf. also A.Z. 3b on the same verse.
(39) Ps. XLII, 9. I.e., by night the song of the angels joins mine (says Israel), which I uttered by day (Rashi).
(40) I.e., of His protection.
(41) I.e., the Torah.
(42) Cf. Aboth IV, 16,17.
(43) This is the punishment for slander and a figurative expression for Gehinnom; cf. Yal. Shim. s. 120, Midr. Till. to Ps.
CXX, and Gen. Rab. 98.
(44) Heb. jha, which may represent two totally different words of identical spelling: one means ‘shrub’ (or, according
to some, ‘wormwood’) which is the natural meaning here, the other means ‘complaint, musing, talk’, which is the sense
in which it is homiletically understood by R. Levi.
(45) Job. XXX, 4.
(46) I.e., Ma'on: the explanation of the seven heavens is here resumed.
(47) Deut. XXVI, 15.
(48) According to Rashi, this heaven contains stores of punishments, the snow etc. being employed not for the world's
benefit, but for retribution, Tosaf., however, holds that the contents of Ma'on are used for good as well as evil, and
compares Ta'an. 3b and Isa. LV, 10.
(49) For these stores cf. Job XXXVIII, 22f also Isa. XXIX, 6.
(50) Rashi: to smite down the produce.
(51) Omitted by R. Elijah of Wilna,
(52) Deut, XXVIII, 12; implying also the existence of a bad store, i.e., of punishments; but the "Ein Jacob’ reads here
Jer. L, 25.
(53) Ps. CXLVIII, 7, 8.
(54) Ibid. V, 5.
(55) Note how the Talmudic explanation of the verse transforms the negative description of God into a positive one, and
changes (‘with Thee’ into ‘in thy abode’ to prevent any misconception about God's perfection.
(56) I.e., Makon.
(57) I Kings VIII, 39.
(58) Heb. vesm, which implies righteous actions and is often used in the sense of charity.
(59) Rashi explains that either ‘spirits’ and ‘souls’ are synonymous, or else ‘spirit’ means the soul that has bodily form
(60) E.V. ‘Righteousness’.
(61) Ps. LXXXIX, 15.
(62) Isa LIX, 17.
(63) Ps.XXXVI, 10.
(64) Judg. VI, 24. Rashi renders: He (the Lord) called it (peace) unto Him.
(65) Ps. XXIV, 5.
(66) 1 Sam. XXV, 29.
(67) Isa. LVII, 1.
(68) Ps. LXVIII, 10. The verse refers to the Revelation at Sinai, when, according to the Midrash, the souls of the
children of Israel momentarily left their bodies, but God with His bounteous rain or dew of resurrection revived them.
Cf. Cant. Rab. to Cant. V, 6.
(69) Lit., ‘Wheels’, i.e., wheel-like angels; v. Ezek. I, 15f.
(70) V. Isa. VI, 2; in Rabbinic literature they are understood to be angels of fire, cf. Deut. Rab. s. 11. But v. B. D. B. s.v.
(71) V. Ezek. I, 5f.
(72) Apparently distinct from those dwelling in Ma'on (v. p. 70).
(73) A.V. ‘upon the heavens’; R.V. ‘through the deserts’.
(74) Ps. LXVIII, 5.
(75) I.e., Araboth.
(76) Deut. XXXIII, 26.
(77) Ps. XVIII, 12.
(78) I.e., God.
(79) Dan. II, 22.
(80) I.e., the latter.
Talmud - Mas. Chagigah 13a
refers to the inner chambers,1 the other to the outer chambers. And R. Aha b. Jacob said: There is
still another Heaven above the heads of the living creatures, for it is written: And over the heads of
the living creatures there was a likeness of a firmament, like the colour of the terrible ice, stretched
forth over their heads above.2 Thus far you have permission to speak, thenceforward you have not
permission to speak, for so it is written in the Book of Ben Sira:3 Seek not things that are too hard for
thee,4 and search not things that are hidden from thee. The things that have been permitted5 thee,
think thereupon; thou hast no business with6 the things that are secret.7
It is taught: R. Johanan b. Zakkai said: What answer did the Bath Kol8 give to that wicked one,9
when he said: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the Most High?10 A Bath
Kol went forth and said to him: O wicked man, son of a wicked man, grandson11 of Nimrod, the
wicked, who stirred the whole world to rebellion against Me12 by his rule. How many are the years
of man? Seventy, for it is said: The days of our years are threescore years and ten, or even by reason
of strength fourscore years.13 But the distance from the earth to the firmament is a journey of five
hundred years, and the thickness of the firmament is a journey of five hundred years, and likewise
[the distance] between one firmament and the other.14 Above them15 are the holy living creatures:
the feet16 of the living creatures are equal to all of them [together];17 the ankles of the living
creatures are equal to all of them; the legs of the living creatures are equal to all of them; the knees18
of the living creatures are equal to all of them; the thighs of the living creatures are equal to all of
them; the bodies of the living creatures are equal to all of them; the necks of the living creatures are
equal to all of them; the heads of the living creatures are equal to all of them; the horns of the living
creatures are equal to all of them. Above them is the throne of glory; the feet of the throne of glory
are equal to all of them; the throne of glory is equal to all of them. The King, the Living and Eternal
God, High and Exalted, dwelleth above them. Yet thou didst say, I will ascend above the heights of
the clouds, I will be like the Most High! Nay19 , thou shalt be brought down to the nether-world, to
the uttermost parts of the pit.20
NOR [THE WORK OF] THE CHARIOT IN THE PRESENCE OF ONE. R. Hiyya taught: But the
headings of chapters21 may be transmitted to him. R. Zera said: The headings of chapters may be
transmitted only to the head of a court22 and to one whose heart is anxious within him.23 Others say:
Only if his heart is anxious within him.24 R. Amimi said: The mysteries of the Torah may be
transmitted only to one who possesses five attributes, [namely], The captain of fifty, and the man of
rank, and the counsellor, and the cunning charmer, and the skillful enchanter.25 R. Ammi further
said: The teachings of the Torah are not to be transmitted to an idolater,26 for it is said: He hath not
dealt so with any nation; and as for His ordinances, they have not known them.27
R. Johanan said to R. Eleazar: Come, I will instruct you in the ‘Work of the Chariot’.28 He replied:
I am not old enough.29 When he was old enough, R. Johanan died.30 R. Assi [then] said to him:
Come, I will instruct you in the "Work of the Chariot’. He replied: Had I been worthy, I should have
been instructed by R. Johanan, your master.
R. Joseph was studying the ‘Work of the Chariot’; the elders of Pumbeditha31 were studying the
‘Work of Creation . The latter said to the former: Let the master teach us the ‘Work of the Chariot’.
He replied: Teach me the ‘Work of Creation’. After they had taught him, they said to him: Let the
master instruct us in the ‘Work of the Chariot’. He replied: We have learnt concerning it: Honey and
milk are under thy tongue.32 The things that are sweeter than honey and milk should be under thy
tongue.33 R. Abbahu said: [It34 is inferred] from this verse: The lambs [Ke-basim] will be for thy
clothing.35 The things which are the mystery [Kibshono] of the world should be under thy clothing.36
They37 [then] said to him: We have already studied therein as far as, And He said unto me: ‘Son of
man’.38 He replied: This is the very [portion of the] ‘Work of the Chariot’.39
An objection was raised: How far does [the portion of] the ‘Work of the Chariot’ extend? Rabbi
said: As far as the second And I saw.40 R. Isaac said: As far as Hashmal41 — As far as ‘I saw’42 may
be taught;43 thenceforward, [only] the heads of chapters44 may be transmitted. Some, however, say:
As far as ‘I saw’, the heads of chapters may be transmitted; thenceforward, if he is a Sage able to
speculate by himself, Yes; if not, No. But may one expound [the mysteries of] Hashmal? For behold
there was once a child45 who expounded [the mysteries of] Hashmal, and a fire went forth and
consumed him! — [The case of] the child is different, for he had not reached the [fitting] age. Rab
Judah said: That man be remembered for blessing,46 namely, Hananiah b. Hezekiah: but for him, the
Book of Ezekiel would have been withdrawn,47 for its words contradict the words of the Torah.48
What did he do? Three hundred garab49 of oil were brought up to him, and he sat in an upper
chamber and expounded it.
The Rabbis taught: There was once a child who was reading at his teacher's house the Book of
Ezekiel, and he apprehended what Hashmal was,50 whereupon a fire went forth from Hashmal and
consumed him. So they51 sought to suppress the Book of Ezekiel, but Hananiah b. Hezekiah said to
them: If he was a Sage, all are Sages!52 What does [the word] Hashmal mean?-Rab Judah said:
(1) Cf. supra p. 23, n. 5.
(2) Ezek. I, 22.
(3) Cf. Ecclesiasticus III, 21, 22. The author, whose full name seems to have been Jesus b. Simeon b. Eleazar b. Sira, is
the only writer of the Old Testament or Apocrypha who signed his work (v. ibid. L, 27). His date falls in the first third of
the second century B.C.E. He wrote in Hebrew, the Greek translation being made by his grandson, of whom it is known
that he went to Egypt in 132; the greater part of the Hebrew original has been recovered from the Cairo Genizah.
According to Tosef. Yad. II, 13, the writings of Ben Sira do not defile the hands, i.e., are uncanonical, and so rank the
works of ‘Minim’ or heretics. Eccl. Rab. XII, 11 forbids one to have Ben Sira's book in the house. R. Akiba (J. Sanh.
28a) includes the readers of uncanonical writings such as those of Ben Sira among those who have no share in the world
to come; v. further the discussion in Sanh., Sonc. ed., p. 680f and nn. a.l. on R. Akiba's prohibition. The exclusion of
Ecclesiasticus from the canon and the prohibitions with which it was surrounded were probably due to its epicurean and
Sadducean tendencies. Notwithstanding, the book remained popular with Jews, and is frequently quoted in early Jewish
literature as well as in the Talmud and Midrash. V. J.E. vol. XI, pp. 388f.
(4) E.V. ‘that are above thy strength’.
(5) E.V. ‘commanded’.
(6) E.V. ‘no need of’.
(7) For a variant version of this quotation v. Gen. Rab. VIII, which contains two additional clauses.
(8) Lit., ‘daughter of a voice’. According to Lampronti, Levy, Kohut (Aruch Completum) and Jast., it means an echo’;
but L. Blau holds (J.E. vol. II, pp. 588f) that it means ‘sound’, ‘resonance’. For its secular use, v. Ex. Rab. XXIX, end;
bit in our passage and Rabbinic literature passim, it refers to a heavenly or divine voice.
(9) I.e., Nebuchadnezzar, who, in R. Johanan b. Zakkai's time, possibly suggested Titus.
(10) Isa. XIV, 14.
(11) As Tosaf. a.l. points out, this statement is not to be taken literally; Nebuchadnezzar is to be regarded as a spiritual
descendant of Nimrod because of the similarity of their deeds (the latter persecuted Abraham — cf. Targ.
pseudo-Jonathan to Gen. XIV, I; Gen. R. XLII, 5; Cant. R. VIII, 8 — and the former led into captivity Abraham's
descendants) and of their place of origin (Babylon).
(12) Lit., ‘against himself’, an obvious emendation, dictated by a pious desire to avoid blasphemy, of ‘against Me’ i.e.,
God. In ‘Er. 53a the text has been ‘corrected’ as here; but in Pes. 94b, Gen. R. s. 26 etc., the original reading is
(13) Ps. XC, 10.
(14) V. p. 69.
(15) I.e., the seven heavens; v. n. 5.
(16) I.e., the thickness of the hooves.
(17) I.e., 15 (7 heavens and 8 interspaces) X 500 years. But in J. Ber. 13a the figure is given as 515, the numerical sum
of vrah, ‘upright’; cf. Ezek. I, 7 (Tosaf.).
(18) Properly, the knee and its surrounding parts; cf. Hul. 76a.
(19) E.V. ‘Yet’ etc.
(20) Isa. XIV, 14f.
(21) Probably, the leading words of each section or subject (cf. Rashi a.l. and Jast. s. erp). Levy explains it as ‘the
interpretations of single verses’. V. infra p. 77.
(22) Ab Beth din, lit., ‘Father of a Beth din’ (house of judgment). The Beth din consisted of three (according to another
view, five) members for monetary cases, and of twenty-three for capital cases; whilst the Beth din ha-Gadol (‘High
Court’), or Great Sanhedrin, was comprised of seventy elders and the Nasi, who acted as president. The Ab Beth din of
the Sanhedrin was the vice-president and most important of the seventy members (cf. Sanh. I, 1-4, Sonc. ed. pp. 1-4; and
J.E. vol. lii, pp. 114f).
(23) I.e., he is reverential and not given to levity.
(24) I.e., one must have both qualifications viz., be the head of a court and reverential.
(25) Isa. III, 3. For the explanation of these qualifications v. p. 85.
(26) This, and not Cuthean (substituted on account of the censorship), is undoubtedly the correct reading. Dicta of this
kind were directed against heathens, and were inspired by the fear lest the knowledge of the Torah be unscrupulously
used against Jews. Cf. the story of the Roman commissioners referred to in B.K., Sonc. ed., p. 215; also R. Johanan's
statement in Sanh., Sonc. ed., p. 400 and Num. Rab. s. 13.
(27) Ps. CXLVII, 20,
(28) The ‘Work of the Chariot’ and the ‘Work of Creation’ mentioned in the next passage, were Baraithas (Rashi),
which apparently, took the relevant passages of Genesis and Ezekiel as the basis of their expositions.
(29) Cf. p. 85, where the ‘captain of fifty’, mentioned supra as one of the qualifications of the man to whom the
mysteries of the Torah may be transmitted, is explained as one who is fifty years of age.
(30) Lit., ‘R. Johanan's soul was at rest’ (cf. Isa. LVII, 2).
(31) Lit., ‘mouth of Beditha’ (a canal of the Euphrates). It was the seat of a great Jewish academy.
(32) Cant. IV, 11.
(33) I.e., the mysteries of the Chariot may not be taught, cf. our Mishnah (p. 59). The Rabbis considered the whole of
Canticles as a figurative expression of the mystical relationship between God and Israel; thus the verse quoted, which the
Bridegroom says to the Bride, is really the injunction of God to Israel.
(34) I.e.,the prohibition to teach the ‘Chariot’ mysteries.
(35) Prov. XXVII, 26.
(36) I.e., in thy bosom, a secret. The reading in MS.M. brings the Midrashic deduction out more clearly: Read not
kebasim("lambs") but kebushim ("hidden things")things which are the mystery(kibshono) of the world must be kept
under one's clothing’.
(37) I.e., the elders of Pumbeditha.
(38) Ezek. II, 1.
(39) I.e., if you have learnt thus far,you have learnt much , for this passage included the very verses(Ezek. I,27,28) the
teaching of which the Rabbis prohibited.
(40) Ezek. I,27, excluding Hashmal;v. n. 12.
(41) Ibid.,including Hashmal(E.V. ‘electrum’). By Hashmal, the whole subject thereof, which is described in this verse,
is meant, not merely the word itself, which already occurs in v. 4. The objection here raised is that the statements of
Rabbi and R. Isaac apparently contradict the statement of R. Joseph above, which seemed to imply that the passage
dealing with the ‘Work of the Chariot’ extended to Ezek. II, 1.
(42) I.e., ‘I saw’ according to Rabbi, or ‘Hashmal’ according to R. Isaac,
(43) I.e., Rabbi and R. Isaac indicated not how far the ‘Work of the Chariot extended, but how far therein it was
permissible to teach.
(44) V. p. 75,n. 3.
(45) Aram. teubh, a term applicable to a boy from infancy to school age. Hot-tinger's view (De Incestu etc., p. 54,
quoted by A. W. Streane) that not a child in years but in knowledge of Talmud is meant is unlikely. Cf. the frequent use
of the term in the Zohar.
(46) Cf. Neh. V, 19.
(47) Heb.zbdb lit., ‘hidden, stored away’, i.e., declared un-canonical. The idea and name of the Greek ‘Apocrypha’
have often been traced to this technical significance of the verb zbd in the Talmud; but this is denied by G. F. Moore, v.
J.E., vol. II, pp. 1-2 and 6.
(48) Cf. Ezek, XVIII, 4, 20 with Ex. XX, 5, XXIV, 7; Ezek. XLIV, 31 with Lev. XXII, 8; Ezek. XLIV, 22 with Lev.
XXI, 14; also Ezek. XLV, 20, which mentions a sacrifice for the seventh day of the first month, entirely unknown from
the Torah. V. Rashi to the above verses of Ezek., and Men. 45a, and Kid. 78a.
(49) ‘A bottle, keg’, as a ‘measure (Jast.); ‘an earthen jar’, (Levy). The oil was to provide light for study.
(50) Jast. translates: ‘speculated over the Hashmal’. Had the child drawn a picture of it? (V. J.E. vol. III, p. 148, s. 11).
(51) I.e., the Rabbis.
(52) I.e., the case of the child is exceptional: having a Sage's understanding of the mysteries of Hashmal, he endangered
his life by his speculation; but ordinary readers of Ezekiel would not run any risk.
Talmud - Mas. Chagigah 13b
Living creatures speaking fire.1 In a Baraitha it is taught: [Hashmal means], At times they are silent,
at times they speak.2 When the utterance goes forth from the mouth of the Holy One, blessed be He,
they are silent, and when the utterance goes not forth from the mouth of the Holy One, blessed be
He, they speak.
And the living creatures ran and returned as the appearance of a flash of lightning.3 What is the
meaning of ‘ran and returned’? — Rab Judah said: Like the flame that goes forth from the mouth of
a furnace.4 What is the meaning of ‘as the appearance of a flash of lightning’? — R. Jose b. Hanina
said: Like the flame that goes forth from between the potsherds.5
And I looked, and, behold a stormy wind came out of the north, a great cloud with a fire flashing
up, so that a brightness was round about it; and out of the midst thereof as the colour of electrum
[Hashmal], out of the midst of the fire.6 Whither did it7 go? Rab Judah said that Rab said: It went to
subdue the whole world under the wicked Nebuchadnezzar. And wherefore all this? — That the
peoples of the world might not say: Into the hand of a low people the Holy One, blessed be he,
delivered His children,8 The Holy One, blessed be He, said: Who caused Me to be a servant to
idol-worshippers? The iniquities of Israel, they caused Me.
Now as I beheld the living creatures, behold one wheel at the bottom hard by the living creatures.9
R. Eleazar said: [It means] a certain angel, who stands on the earth and his head reaches unto the
living creatures. In a Baraitha it is taught: His name is Sandalfon;10 he is higher than his fellows by a
[distance of] five hundred years’ journey, and he stands behind the Chariot and wreathes crowns11
for his Maker. But is it so? Behold it is written: Blessed be the glory of the Lord from His place,’12
accordingly, no one knows His place!13 — He14 pronounces the [Divine] Name over the crown, and
it goes and rests on His head.15
Raba said: All that Ezekiel saw Isaiah saw.16 What does Ezekiel resemble? A villager who saw the
king.17 And what does Isaiah resemble? A townsman who saw the king.18
Resh Lakish said: What is the meaning of the verse: I will sing unto the Lord, for He is highly
exalted?19 [It means] a song to him who is exalted over the exalted ones.20 For a Master said: The
king of the wild animals is the lion; the king of the cattle is the ox; the king of the birds is the eagle;
and man is exalted over them; and the Holy One, blessed be He, is exalted over all of then, and over
the whole world.
One verse says: As for the likeness of their faces, they had the face of a man; and they four had the
face of a lion on the right side,’ and they four had the face of an ox on the left side etc.21 And
[elsewhere] it is written: And everyone had four, faces; the first face was the face of the cherub, and
the second face was the face of a man, and the third the face of a lion, and the fourth the face of an
eagle;22 but the ox is not mentioned! — Resh Lakish said: Ezekiel entreated concerning it and
changed it into a cherub. He said before Him:23 Lord of the universe, shall an accuser24 become an
advocate!25 What is the meaning of cherub? — R. Abbahu said: Like a child [Rabia];26 for so in
Babylonia a child is called Rabia. R. Papa said to Abaye: But according to this, [what is the meaning
of] the verse, ‘The first face was the face of the cherub, and the second face was the face of a man,
and the third the face of a lion, and the fourth the face of an eagle’: are not the face of the cherub and
the face of a man the same! — [The one is] a big face, and [the other is] a small face.27
One verse says: Each one had six wings;28 and another verse says: And every one had four faces,
and every one of them had four wings!29 — There is no contradiction: the one30 refers to the time
when the Temple was no longer standing,31 [when] as it were,32 the wings of the living creatures
were diminished. Which of them were taken away? — R. Hananel said that Rab said: Those with
which they utter song. [For] here33 it is written: And with twain he did fly. And one called unto
another and said;34 and [elsewhere] it is written: Wilt thou set thine eyes upon it? It is gone.35 But
our Rabbis said: Those with which they cover their feet, for it is said: And their feet were straight
feet,36 and if [these wings] had not been taken away, whence could he have known!37 — Perhaps,
[the feet] were exposed and he saw them. For if you do not say so, [then from the words], As for the
likeness of their faces, they had the face of man,38 [one might infer] likewise that [the wings
covering them] were taken away! They39 must therefore have been exposed, and he saw them;
similarly here, they40 were exposed, and he saw them. But how can they be compared? Granted that
it is customary to expose one's face before one's master, but it is not customary to expose one's feet
before one's master!
One verse says: Thousand thousands ministered unto Him, and ten thousand times ten thousand
stood before Him;41 and another verse says: Is there any number of His armies?42 — There is no
contradiction: the one43 refers to a time when the Temple was standing, and the other refers to a time
when the Temple was no longer standing; [when] as it were, the heavenly household44 was
It is taught: Rabbi said in the name of Abba Jose b. Dosai: ‘Thousand thousands ministered unto
‘Him’, — this is the number of one troop; but of His troops there is no number. But Jeremiah b. Aba
said: ‘Thousand thousand ministered unto Him’ — at the fiery stream,45 for it is said: A fiery stream
issued and came forth from before Him; thousand thousands ministered unto Him and ten thousand
times ten thousand stood before Him.41 Whence does it come forth? — From the sweat of the ‘living
creatures’, And whither does it pour forth? R. Zutra b. Tobiah said that Rab said: Upon the head of
the wicked in Gehinnom,46 for it is said: Behold, a storm of the Lord is gone forth in fury,47 yea, a
whirling storm; it shall whirl upon the head of the wicked.48 But R. Aha b. Jacob said: Upon those
who pressed forward,49 for it is said: Who pressed forward50 before their time, whose foundation
was poured out as a stream.51 It is taught: R. Simeon the Pious said: These are the nine hundred and
seventy four generations who pressed themselves forward to be created 52
(1) I.e. knaj is explained as an abbreviation of ,ukknn at ,uhj
(2) I.e., Hashmal is an abbreviation of ,ukknn ,uaj, ‘silent, speaking’.
(3) Ezek. 1,14.
(4) I.e., a brick-kiln.
(5) I.e., perforated earthen pieces used in smelting gold. ezc (E.V. ‘flash of lightning’) is here explained in its Aramaic
sense of ‘a fragment, piece of pottery’.
(6) Ibid. v. 4.
(7) I.e., the stormy wind coming out of the north.
(8) Cf. for the thought Git. 56b=Sanh. 104b, (Sonc. ed., p. 710), ‘Whoever distresses Israel becomes a chief’.
(9) Ezek. I, 15.
(10) Perhaps from Grk. ** == cobrother. Sandalfon is described as brother of Metatron; v. J.E. vol. XI, pp. 39-40; cf.
also Longfellow's poem ‘Sandalphon’.
(11) I.e., offers up the prayers of the righteous.
(12) Ezek. III, 12.
(13) I.e., the vagueness of the expression ‘from His place’ indicates that God's place is unknown even to His angels.
(14) I.e., Sandalfon,
(15) [MS.M. ‘in its place : i.e., the prayer is effective.]
(16) V. Isa. VI, 1 ff: Despite the differences between the descriptions given by Isaiah and Ezekiel, they both saw
identical visions of God's glory.
(17) According to Rashi, the point is that the rustic — to whom the sight of the king is a novelty — is naturally inclined
to give his impressions at length. But Tosaf. explains that the villager has to give a detailed description of the royal
splendour in order to convince his hearers that he actually saw the king. Likewise Ezekiel, to whom was granted the rare
distinction, of prophecy outside Palestine, had to prove by a detailed account that he actually beheld the Divine Glory
though he dwelt by the river Chebar.
(18) The townsman — to whom the king is a familiar sight is not inclined to indulge in any lengthy description (Rashi);
nor does he have to go into details in order to convince his hearers of the truth of his statement (Tosaf.).
(19) Ex. XV, 1.
(20) This is an explanation of the words of the text, vtd vtd (E.V. ‘highly exalted’), which mean lit., ‘to be exalted
he is exalted’.
(21) Ezek. I, 10.
(22) Ezek. X, 14.
(23) I.e., Ezekiel before God.
(24) The ox would be a reminder of Israel's sin in connection with the golden calf.
(25) Israel required the Divine Chariot to intercede for them. Cf. R.H. 26a.
(26) The word curf (‘Cherub’) is explained as composed of ,f (‘like’) and cur =thcr (‘a growing boy’). For
modern suggestions regarding the root-meaning of the word v. B.D.B. s.v.
(27) I.e., the face of a man and the face of a boy.
(28) Isa. VI, 2.
(29) Ezek. I, 6. It is assumed that the ‘Seraphim’ of Isaiah and the ‘living creatures’ of Ezekiel had originally the same
number of wings.
(30) I.e., Isa. VI, 2.
(31) I.e., the time for the destruction of the Temple had come. Ezekiel prophesied the event, and lived to learn of the
fulfilment of his prophecy, as well as to foretell the rebuilding of the Sanctuary.
(32) Lit., ‘as though it were possible’, refers to an allegorical or anthropomorphous expression with reference to the Lord
(Jast.), or, as here, to the celestial creatures.
(33) Ibid. vv. 2, 3.
(34) The juxtaposition of the two verses shows that with the wings with which they flew they also uttered God's praise.
(35) Lit., ‘cause to fly’; cf. also rest of verse, Prov. XXIII, 5. The occurrence of the word fly in the two passages shows
that it is the wings with which the heavenly beings fly (i.e., utter their song to God) that are gone. This verse in Proverbs
is understood by the Rabbis to refer to the neglect of the study of the Torah (cf. Rashi a. l., and Ber. 5a, Meg. 18a): the
meaning would seem to be that when the Torah is neglected the divine song of the angels is silenced.
(36) Ezek. I, 7.
(37) l.e., that their feet were straight.
(38) Ibid. I, 10,
(39) I.e., their faces.
(40) I.e,, their feet.
(41) Dan. VII, 10.
(42) Job. XXV, 3.
(43) I.e., the verse in Job.
(44) Heb. thknp from Lat. Familia.
(45) I.e, the verse gives the number only of those attending God at the fiery stream, but not of all His angels, which are
(46) I.e., ‘place of punishment of the wicked in the hereafter, hell’ (Jast.). Cf. II Kings XXIII, 10; Jer. VII, 31, 32, etc.; II
Chron. XXVIII, 3.
(47) Heb.vnj understood in the sense of vnj, ‘hot’, is taken as a reference to the fiery stream.
(48) Jer. XXIII, 19.
(49) So Jast. and Levy; v. infra n. 7. Goldschmidt trans., die verdrangt worden sind’ (who were suppressed or displaced);
Rashi trans., ‘who were decreed (to be created)’, MS.M. adds here, ‘before their time’.
(50) E.V. ‘who were snatched away’.
(51) Job XXII, 16. The word ‘stream’ is the link between this verse and Dan. VII, 10.
(52) According to the Rabbinic interpretation of Ps. CV, 8, the Divine Plan originally envisaged the creation of a
thousand generations prior to the giving of the Torah, but foreseeing their wickedness, God held back nine hundred and
seventy-four generations, and gave the Torah at the end of twenty-six generations from Adam (cf. Gen. V, XI, Ex. VI,
16-20, and Seder ‘Olam Ch. 1). The translation here follows the text of MS. M. 2 (v. D.S. a.I. n. 20) viz.
,utrchvk inmg (pi'el) uynhea cur. edd.: ,utrchvk(pu'al) uynuea
Talmud - Mas. Chagigah 14a
before the world was created, but were not created: the Holy One, blessed be He, arose and planted
them1 in every generation, and it is they who are the insolent2 of each generation. But R. Nahman b.
Isaac said: The words, Asher Kummetu,3 indicate blessing: these are the scholars who wrinkle
themselves4 over the words of the Torah in this world, [wherefore] the Holy One, blessed be He,
shall reveal a secret to them in the world to come, for it is said: ‘To whom a secret5 is poured out as a
stream’. Samuel said to R. Hiyya b. Rab: O son of a great man,6 come, I will tell thee something
from those excellent things which thy father has said. Every day ministering angels are created from
the fiery stream, and utter song, and cease to be,7 for it is said: They are new every morning: great is
Thy faithfulness.8 Now he differs from R. Samuel b. Nahmani, for R. Samuel b. Nahmani said that
R. Jonathan said: From every utterance that goes forth from the mouth of the Holy One, blessed be
He, an angel is created,9 for it is said: By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the
host of them by the breath of His mouth.10
One verse says: His raiment was as white as snow, and the hair of his head like pure wool;11 and
[elsewhere] it is written: His locks are curled and black as a raven!12 — There is no contradiction:
one verse13 [refers to God] in session,14 and the other in war.15 For a Master said: In session none is
more fitting than an old man, and in war none is more fitting than a young man.
One passage says: His throne was fiery flames;16 and another Passage says: Till thrones were
places, and One that was ancient of days did sit!17 — There is no contradiction: one [throne] for
Him, and one for David; this is the view of R. Akiba. Said R. Jose the Galilean to him: Akiba, how
long wilt thou treat the Divine Presence as profane!18 Rather, [it must mean], one for justice and one
for grace.19 Did he accept [this explanation from him, or did he not accept it? — Come and hear:
One for justice and one for grace; this is the view of R. Akiba. Said R. Eleazar b. ‘Azariah to him:
Akiba, what hast thou to do with Aggadah?20 Cease thy talk, and turn21 to [the laws concerning
defilement through] leprosy-signs and tent-covering!22 Rather, [it must mean] one for a throne and
one for a stool; the throne to sit upon, the stool for a footrest, for it is said: The heaven is My throne,
and the earth is My foot-rest.23
When R. Dimi came,24 he said: Eighteen curses did Isaiah pronounce upon Israel, yet he was not
pacified25 until he pronounced upon them this verse: The child shall behave insolently against the
aged, and the base against the honourable.26 Which are the eighteen curses? — It is written: For,
behold, the Lord, the Lord of hosts, doth take away from Jerusalem and from Judah stay and staff
every stay of bread, and every stay of water,’ the mighty man, and the man of war; the judge and the
prophet, and the diviner, and the elder; the captain of fifty; and the man of rank, and the counsellor,
and the wise charmer, and the skillful enchanter. And I will give children to be their princes, and
babes shall rule over them.27 ‘Stay’ — this means the masters of the Bible.28 ‘Staff’ — this means
the masters of the Mishnah, like R. Judah b. Tema and his colleagues. R. Papa and our Rabbis
dispute therein: one says that there were29 six hundred orders of the Mishnah, and the other that there
were seven hundred orders of the Mishnah.30 ‘Every stay of bread’ — this means the masters of
Talmud,31 for it is said: Come, eat of My bread, and drink of the wine which I have mingled.32 ‘And
every stay of water’ — this means the masters of Aggadah, who draw the heart of man like water by
means of the Aggadah. ‘The ‘mighty man’ — this means the masters of traditions.33 ‘And the man of
war’ — this means one who knows how to dispute34 in the warfare of the Torah. ‘The judge — this
means a judge who passes judgment in strictest accord with truth — ‘The prophet’ — according to
the literal meaning of the word. ‘The diviner’ — this means the King, for it is said: A divine
sentence is in the lips of the King.35 ‘The elder’ — this means one who is worthy to sit in session.36
‘The captain of fifty’: do not read ‘the captain of fifty’ but ‘the captain of the Pentateuch’;37 it means
one who knows how to argue in the five books of the Torah. Another explanation: ‘the captain of
fifty’ — as R. Abbahu [taught]. For R. Abbahu said. From here [we learn] that a Methurgeman38
may not be appointed over a congregation, who is less than fifty years of age. ‘And a man of rank’
— this means one for whose sake favour is shown to his [entire] generation, like R. Hanina b.
Dosa,39 for instance, on high;40 [or] below,41 like R. Abbahu at the court of Caesar.42 ‘The
counsellor’ — [this means] one who knows how to determine the intercalation of years43 and the
fixation of months.44 ‘And the wise [man]’45 -this means a disciple who makes his teachers wise.
‘Charmer’ — at the moment that he begins a Torah46 — discourse, all become dumb. ‘And the
skillful [‘man]’47 — this means one who understands one thing from another.48 ‘Enchanter’ — this
means one who is worthy to have imparted to him the words of the Torah, which was given in a
whisper.49 ‘And I will give children to be their princes’: what is the meaning of [the words], ‘I will
give children to be their princes’? R. Eleazar said: It means persons who are empty50 of good
deeds.51 ‘And babes shall rule over them’. R. Aha52 b. Jacob said: [It means] foxes sons of foxes.53
‘But he was not pacified54 until he said to them: The child shall behave insolently against the aged’:
— those persons who are empty of good deeds shall behave insolently against such as are filled with
good deeds55 as a pomegranate [with seeds]. ‘And the base against the honourable’: those to whom
weighty [precepts] appear as light ones56 will come and behave insolently against those to whom
light [precepts] appear as weighty ones.57
R. Kattina said: Even at the time of Jerusalem's downfall honest men did not cease from among
them, for it is said: For a man shall take hold of his brother of the house of his father: ‘Thou hast a
mantle, be thou our ruler’!58 Matters on account of which men hide themselves as in a garment59
thou hast ‘under thy hand’.60 And this ruin:61 what is the meaning of [the expression] ‘and this ruin’?
— Matters which people do not grasp unless they stumble over them62 are under thy hand’. In that
day shall he take63 [an oath], saying: I am not64 a healer, for in my house is neither bread nor a
mantle; ye shall not make me ruler of a people.65 — Shall he take, ‘Take’ expresses an oath, for it is
said: Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God [in vain].66 I am not a healer:’ I was67 not of
those who are bound to the Schoolhouse.68 For in my house is neither bread not a mantle, — for I
possess no knowledge of Bible or Mishnah or Gemara, But perhaps that case69 is different; for had
he said to them, I have knowledge, they would have said to him, Tell us then! — He could have
answered that he had learnt but had forgotten; why then does it say: ‘I am not a healer’? [It must
mean], I am not a healer at all.70 But is it so? Behold Raba said: Jerusalem was not destroyed until
honest men ceased therefrom, for it is said: Run ye to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem, and
see now, and know, and seek in the broad places thereof, if ye can find a man, if there be any that
doeth justly, that seeketh truth;71 and I will pardon him.72 — There is no contradiction:
(1) I.e., distributed them over the later generations; cf. Yoma 38b, ‘The Holy One, blessed be He, saw that the righteous
were few, so He arose and planted them in every generation’. Another reading has ‘banished them’, but the meaning
remains unchanged (v. Tosaf. a.I.).
(2) Cf. Aboth V, 20, (Sonc. ed., p. 73f).
(3) Rendered above, ‘who pressed forward’.
(4) So Jast.: from the root meaning ‘to compress, curl’; hence it can be under-stood in the sense of ‘to wrinkle (the
brow)’ as well as ‘to press forward’ (as above). Levy and Goldschmidt render by ‘sich zusammendrangen’ (press
themselves together, limit themselves).
(5) osuxh, ‘their foundation’ is here taken to mean the same as osux, ‘their secret
(6) Lit., ‘son of a lion’.
(7) Cf. the lines in Longfellow's Sandalphon (quoted by Streane): ‘The Angels of Wind and of Fire Chant only one
hymn, and expire With the song's irresistible stress’,
(8) Lam. III, 23. I.e,, great is Thy praise on account of them (Rashi).
(9) But not from the fiery stream, as Rab holds.
(10) Ps. XXXIII, 6.
(11) Dan, VII, 9.
(12) Cant. V, 11.
(13) I.e., Dan. VII, 9.
(14) I.e., sitting in judgment; cf. ibid. v. 10.
(15) Canticles is interpreted by the Rabbis as referring in greater part to the Exodus (note that the book is read in the
synagogue during Passover) when God appeared as a warrior (cf. Ex. XV, 3).
(16) Dan. VII, 9.
(17) Ibid., beginning of the verse. The plural implies two thrones, whereas the first passage speaks of only one.
(18) By asserting that David occupies a place next to God.
(19) Lit., ‘righteousness’, but used here, apparently, in the sense of ‘lovingkindness, grace’.
(20) For Haggadah v. Glos. s. Aggadah. R. Eleazar b. ‘Azariah regards even this explanation as dangerous, because it
implies a duality of character on the part of God, and militates against the fundamental Jewish concept of God's perfect
(21) The two verbs in the English are represented by one in the Hebrew viz.lkf which is really a combination of
lku vkf, ‘cease and go (elsewhere’).
(22) V. p. 56, nn. 5 and 6. R. Akiba's intellectual gifts were best suited to Halachah, not Haggadah. The laws relating to
defilement by leprosy and tent-covering form two of the most difficult tractates of the Halachah.
(23) E. V. foot-stool’, Isa. LXVI, 1.
(24) I.e., from Palestine to Babylonia.
(25) Lit., ‘his mind was not cooled’.
(26) Ibid. III, 5.
(27) Ibid. vv. 1-4.
(28) The Bible being Israel's stay’. In this vein the Gemara explains the rest of the quotation.
(29) I.e., in the days of R Judah b. Tema and his colleagues.
(30) The Mishnah is now divided into six orders, V. J.E. vol, VIII, p, 615.
(31) This included the discussions ‘if the Amoraim added to the Mishnah. The decisions of the experts in Talmud could
be relied upon, but those who gave decisions on the basis of the Mishnah only were called ‘destroyers of the world’ (Sot.
22a); cf. supra p. 50. Thus, the masters of the Talmud were, so to speak, as essential to Israel as bread itself.
(32) Prov. IX, 5.
(33) Lit., ‘things heard’ i.e., oral reports of a halachic character — legal decisions — which were carefully handed down
by teacher to disciple. These tradents of legal traditions were veritable living ‘books of reference’.
(34) Lit., ‘to take up and give’. The expression is primarily a commercial term, denoting ‘buying and selling’ or any
financial transaction. Here it is used in the transferred sense of being able to deal with the argumentation essential to the
study of the Torah. A distinction is here drawn between the keen-minded debater (‘the man of war’) and the expert in
traditions (‘the mighty man’): the latter is remarkable chiefly for his learning, the former is distinguished for his
reasoning power and mental acumen.
(35) Ibid. XVI, 10.
(36) I.e., as counsellor.
(37) ohanj ‘fifty’, is explained as ohanuj ‘fifths,, i.e.,the five books of the Pentateuch. V. Kid. 33a.
(38) Lit., ‘interpreter’, i.e.,the translator into Aramaic (or Greek) of the Biblical portion read at services, V. J.E. VIII, p.
(39) Cf. Ta'an. 24b-25a: ‘Every day a Bath Kol goes forth and says: The whole world is fed for the sake of Hanina, my
son; Yet is Hanina, my son, satisfied with a kab of carobs from Sabbath eve to Sabbath eve’. Cf. also Ber. V, 5.
(40) I.e., in heaven.
(41) I.e., on earth.
(42) I.e., the proconsular government. V. Sanh. 14a and Keth. 17a.
(43) The Jewish year consists ordinarily of twelve lunar months (v. n. 5). In order to prevent the festivals from falling in
the wrong seasons, it was necessary periodically to adjust the lunar calendar to the solar year: this was achieved by
introducing an intercalary month (Adar II) between Adar and Nisan. V., further, Sanh. 2a (Sonc. ed., p. 1) and 10a (p.
42f); also J.E. vol. III, p. 498f.
(44) I.e., determination of the beginning of a month by the first appearance of the new moon. As the moon revolves
round the earth in approx. twenty-nine and a half days, the Jewish months consists, alternately, of twenty-nine or thirty
(45) The expression ‘wise (E. V. cunning") charmer’ is clearly intended in the verse to refer to one person; but the
Gemara interprets ‘wise’ and ‘charmer’ as a composite phrase referring to two distinct types.
(46) Used here not in its restricted meaning of the Pentateuch, but in its wider connotation of Jewish teaching based on
Scripture; cf. Aboth I, 1 (Sonc. ed., p. 1, n., 1).
(47) Here, as above (v. n. 6), Isaiah's description of one type of person is made to refer to two types.
(48) I.e., is able himself to draw conclusions on the basis of the knowledge imparted to him.
(49) On account of Satan (Aruch). But Jast. prefers the reading of MS.M.(cf. Rashi l.c.) which he renders: ‘that is he to
whom are handed over the secrets of the Law which are communicated in a low voice’. Cf. p. 75 and nn. 4 and 5.
(50) The word ohrgb (‘children’) in the verse is explained as meaning ohrgubn (‘empty’); literally, the latter
means, shaken out, emptied’.
(51) Lit., ‘commandments’, precepts (of the Torah)’, hence religious or meritorious deeds.
(52) Var. lec.: but Bah reads R. Papa b. J.
(53) The word ohkukg, (‘babes’) in the verse is explained as a derivative of tkg, (‘fox’), with the meaning,
‘double foxes i.e,, second generation of foxes.
(54) V. p. 84, n. 6.
(55) This is an explanation of the word ize (aged) in the verse, which must necessarily have the opposite meaning of
rgb (‘child’ i.e., one empty of good deeds). Note also that zaken is explained elsewhere as one who is both learned (v.
Sifra Kedoshim Par. 3’ Ch. VII, and Kid. 32b) and practised in the Torah and its precepts (v. Ber. 39a). Cf. also p. 109
(56) The word vkeb (‘base’) in the verse is here explained as a derivative of ke(‘light’).
(57) There is a play here on the word scfb (‘honourable’), the root of which also means, ‘heavy, weighty’.
(58) Isa. III, 6.
(59) I.e., feel ashamed in their ignorance of them — namely the teachings of the Torah — should be detected.
(60) I.e., knowest well; the expression is quoted from the end of v. 6 (ibid.).
(61) Lit., ‘and this stumbling’; ibid,
(62) I.e., which they learn only through their mistakes.
(63) E.V. ‘swear’.
(64) E.V. will not be’.
(65) Ibid. 7.
(66) Ex, XX, 7. The bracketed words are omitted in cur. edd. but not in the "Ein Jacob’.
(67) The Heb. verb in the verse, which, being in the imperfect form should ordinarily denote the future or at least the
present tense, is here understood as having a past meaning, viz,, ‘I used not to be’,
(68) Lit., ‘of those who bind (themselves) in the Schoolhouse’.
(69) I.e., the case referred to in Isaiah is no proof of real honesty, because (according to the argument which follows)
falsehood could easily have been detected.
(70) I.e., I have never studied. This voluntary admission proves his honesty.
(71) Heb. vbunt which is only a slight variant of vbnt ‘honesty’.
(72) Jer. V, 1.
Talmud - Mas. Chagigah 14b
the one [verse] refers to religious matters,1 the other to business. In regard to religious matters, there
were [honest men left]; in regard to business, there were no [honest men left].
Our Rabbis taught: Once R. Johanan b. Zakkai was riding on an ass when going on a journey, and
R. Eleazar b. ‘Arak was driving the ass from behind. [R. Eleazar] said to him: Master, teach me a
chapter of the ‘Work of the Chariot’.2 He answered: Have I not taught you3 thus: ‘Nor [the work of]
the chariot in the presence of one, unless he is a Sage and understands of his own knowledge’? [R.
Eleazar] them said to him: Master, permit me to say before thee something which thou hast taught
me.4 He answered, Say on! Forthwith R. Johanan b. Zakkai dismounted from the ass, and wrapped
himself up,5 and sat upon a stone beneath an olive tree. Said [R. Eleazar] to him: Master, wherefore
didst thou dismount from the ass? He answered: Is it proper that whilst thou art expounding the
‘Work of the Chariot’, and the Divine Presence is with us, and the ministering angels accompany us,
I should ride on the ass! Forthwith, R. Eleazar b. ‘Arak began his exposition of the ‘work of the
Chariot’, and fire6 came down from heaven and encompassed7 all the trees in the field; [thereupon]
they all began to utter [divine] song. What was the song they uttered? — Praise the Lord from the
earth, ye sea-monsters, and all deeps . . . fruitful trees and all cedars . . . Hallelujah. 8 An angel9 [then]
answered10 from the fire and said: This is the very ‘Work of the Chariot’. [Thereupon] R. Johanan b.
Zakkai rose and kissed him on his head and said: Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, Who hath given
a son to Abraham our father, who knoweth to speculate upon, and to investigate, and to expound the
‘Work of the Chariot’ — There are some who preach well but do not act well, others act well but do
not preach well, but thou dost preach well and act well. Happy art thou, O Abraham our father, that
R. Eleazar b. ‘Arak hath come forth from thy loins. Now when these things were told R. Joshua, he
and R. Jose the priest11 were going on a journey. They said: Let us also12 expound the ‘Work of the
Chariot’; so R. Joshua began an exposition. Now that day was the summer solstice;13 [nevertheless]
the heavens became overcast with clouds and a kind of rainbow14 appeared in the cloud, and the
ministering angels assembled and came to listen like people who assemble and come to watch the
entertainments15 of a bridegroom and bride. [Thereupon] R. Jose the priest went and related what
happened before R. Johanan b. Zakkai; and [the latter] said: Happy are ye, and happy is she that bore
you;16 happy are my eyes that have seen thus. Moreover, in my dream, I and ye were reclining17 on
Mount Sinai, when a Bath Kol18 was sent to us,19 [saying]: Ascend hither, ascend hither! [Here are]
great banqueting chambers, and fine dining couches prepared for you; you and your disciples and
your disciples’ disciples are designated for the third class.20 But is this so?21 For behold it is taught:
R. Jose b. R. Judah said: There were three discourses:22 R. Joshua discoursed before R. Johanan b.
Zakkai, R. Akiba discoursed before R. Joshua, Hanania b. Hakinai discoursed before R. Akiba; —
whereas R. Eleazar b. ‘Arak he does not count! — One who discoursed [himself], and others
discoursed before him, he counts; one who discoursed [himself], but others did not discourse before
him, he does not count. But behold there is Hanania b. Hakinai before whom others did not
discourse, yet he counts him! — He at least discoursed before one who discoursed [before others]. 23
Our Rabbis taught: Four men entered the ‘Garden’,24 namely, Ben ‘Azzai25 and Ben Zoma,26
Aher,27 and R. Akiba. R. Akiba said to them: When ye arrive at the stones of pure marble,28 say not,
water, water!29 For it is said: He that speaketh falsehood shall not be established before mine eyes.30
Ben ‘Azzai cast a look and died. Of him Scripture says: Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death
of His saints.31 Ben Zoma looked and became demented.32 Of him Scripture says: Hast thou found
honey? Eat so much as is sufficient for thee, lest thou be filled therewith, and vomit it.33 Aher
mutilated the shoots.34 R. Akiba departed unhurt.
Ben Zoma was asked: Is it permitted to castrate a dog?35 He replied: Neither shall ye do this in
your land,36 — [this means], to none that is in your land shall ye do thus.37 Ben Zoma was [further]
asked: May a high priest marry a maiden who has become pregnant?38 Do we [in such a case] take
into consideration Samuel's statement, for Samuel said,
(1) Lit., ‘words of.the Torah’.
(2) V. p. 59, n. 4.
(3) Plural, i.e. R. Eleazar and his fellow-students.
(4) The fact that R. Johanan b. Zakkai had in the past taught the ‘Chariot’ mysteries to R. Eleazar is difficult to reconcile
with the former's present refusal to teach his disciple. It seems best to omit, with the J.T., the word rendered ‘which thou
hast taught me’. For two suggested explanations, if this word is retained, v. Maharsha a.I.
(5) I.e., put round him his tallith. The latter was a four-cornered garment (similar to the Roman pallium’) adorned with
fringes (in accordance with Num. XV, 38f), which was worn in Talmudic times by scholars, distinguished persons, and
those who led in prayers. Its use at prayers is still preserved, and has given rise to its popular designation of
‘prayer-shawl’. By wrapping himself in his tallith, R. Johanan b. Zakkai showed his sense of the holiness of the
occasion. V. further J.E., vol. Xl, pp’ 67f and Elbogen, Der Jud, Gottesdienst pp. 499f.
(6) Cf. p. 77, n. 9.
(7) Var. lec.: covered; intertwined; hedged in,.
(8) Ps. CXLVIII, 7, 9, 14. This reference to trees is the clue which points to these verses as the trees’ psalm. The
Jerusalem Talmud reads instead I Chron. XVI, 33.
(9) Another reading has ‘angel of death’, which Tosaf. rejects.
(10) I.e., spoke with reference to R. Eleazar's exposition of the ‘Chariot’ mysteries.
(11) For R. Johanan b. Zakkai's opinion of these two disciples and R. Eleazer v. Aboth, II, 8, 9.
(12) Being only two, they would not be infringing the Mishnah law concerning the study of the ‘chariot’ mysteries.
(13) Lit., ‘the cycle of Tammuz’ (fourth month). On such a day the sky in Palestine should be cloudless.
(14) Cf. Ezek. I, 28.
(15) Heb. hyunzn. Levy deriving the word from the Greek ‘smiling’, especially ‘friendly smiling’, translates it,
‘Belustigungen’ (entertainments, merrymakings), which agrees with Rashi's explanation and the variant reading of the
Jerusalem Talmud viz., ‘rejoicing’. Jast. gives the word a Hebrew origin (v.s.v.) and explains it to mean, music, sweet
melodies’; he renders our passage — ‘the musical entertainments at a wedding.
(16) I.e., your respective mothers; they were not brothers.
(17) I.e. as at a banquet, when the guests used to recline on couches (cf. Ex. Rab 25).
(18) V. p. 73, n. 12.
(19) Lit., ‘given upon us’.
(20) Of the seven classes (v. Midr. Till. to Ps. XI, 7) admitted (after death) into God's presence.
(21) I.e., that R. Eleazar b. ‘Arak discoursed on the ‘Chariot’ mysteries before his master.
(22) I.e., only in three instances did disciples discourse on the ‘Work of the Chariot’ before their teachers.
(23) Hanina b. Hakinai has to be mentioned on account of R. Akiba, to show that the latter not only discoursed himself
but that also another discoursed before him; but R. Eleazar b. ‘Arak did not discourse before a teacher who in his turn
discoursed before others, nor did any one discourse before him, hence he is not counted.
(24) Paradise, Heb. xsrp (cf. Cant. IV, 13, Eccl. II, 5, Neh. II, 8), ‘enclosure, preserve, garden, park’ (v. B. D. B.
s.v.). L. Blau (Alitjudisches Zauberwesen, pp, 115f) seeks to prove that this account of the entry of the four Rabbis into
Paradise is to be understood literally (v. also J.E. vol. V, p. 683). This view is shared, among others, by J. Levy and L.
Ginzberg (v. J.E. vol. V, pp. 138f). On the other hand, M. Jast. (Dictionary) and Goldschmidt consider ‘Pardes’ a
figurative expression for the mystical realm of theosophy. Rashi explains that the four scholars ascended to heaven, and
Tosaf. adds that it only appeared to them that they did so. Similarly, R. Hai Gaon, who discusses the whole Baraitha in a
responsum (quoted by Ha-Kotheb in ‘Ein Jacob), and R. Hananel explain that the entry of the Rabbis into the ‘Garden’
was only a vision. Both these authorities refer to the comment on the passage contained in the mystical works ‘Hekaloth
Rabbathi’ and ‘Hekaloth Zutarthi’ (v. J.E. vol. VI, pp. 332-3). V. further J.E. vol. IX, pp. 515f.
(25) V. Ab. IV, 2, (Sonc. ed., p. 44, n. 1).
(26) V. ibid. Mishnah I, (Sonc. ed., P 43, n. 1).
(27) Lit. ‘another’, by which tern, Elisha b. Abuyah is referred to after his apostasy. V. J.E. vol. V, pp. 138f, and Ab. IV,
20 (Sonc. ed., p. 55 n. 1, where instead of ‘disciple of R. Meir’, read ‘teacher of R. Meir’). Cf. also the term ‘Others’
supra p. 14.
(28) Giving the illusion of water.
(29) I.e., how can we proceed!
(30) Ps. CI, 7.
(31) Ibid. CXVI, 15.
(32) Lit., ‘stricken’.
(33) Prov. XXV, 16,
(34) I.e., apostatized. Scholars differ greatly regarding the nature of Aher's defection: he has been variously described as
a Persian, Gnostic or Philonian dualist; as a Christian; as a Sadducee; and as a ‘victim of the inquisitor Akiba’, in J.E., V.
183 and bibliography.
(35) Castrated animals may not be offered as sacrifices (v. n. 12,); therefore castration is forbidden in the case of animals
of the type that can be offered up. But a dog may not only not be offered itself, but even its price or equivalent may not
be used for offerings (v. Tem. 30a-b). Hence the question whether the prohibition of castration applies even to a dog. Cf.
also Shab. 111a.
(36) Lev. XXII, 24. The beginning of the verse reads: ‘That which hath its stones bruised . . . or cut, ye shalt not offer
unto the Lord’.
(37) l.e., even an animal like the dog, which cannot be offered as a sacrifice, may not be mutilated.
(38) The high priest may marry a virgin only (v. Lev. XXI, 13). The question here is: If the girl claims that despite her
pregnant condition she is still a virgin, may the high priest marry her? Or if he married her without knowing of her
pregnancy and actually found her to have the signs of virginity, but subsequently learnt that she was pregnant before
marriage, may she remain his wife?
Talmud - Mas. Chagigah 15a
I can have repeated sexual connections without [causing] bleeding;1 or is perhaps the case of Samuel
rare?2 He replied: the case of Samuel is rare, but we do consider [the possibility] that she may have
conceived in a bath.3 But behold Samuel said: A spermatic emission that does not shoot forth like an
arrow cannot fructify! — In the first instance, it had also shot forth like an arrow.
Our Rabbis taught: Once R. Joshua b. Hanania was standing on a step on the Temple Mount, and
Ben Zoma saw him and did not stand up before him.4 So [R. Joshua] said to him: Whence and
whither, Ben Zoma?5 He replied: I was gazing between the upper and the lower waters,6 and there is
only a bare three fingers’ [breadth] between them, for it is said: And the spirit of God hovered over
the face of the waters7 — like a dove which hovers over her young without touching [them].8
Thereupon R. Joshua said to his disciples: Ben Zoma is still outside.9 See now, when was it that ‘the
spirit of God hovered over the face of the water? On the first day [of Creation]; but the division took
place on the second day, for it is written: And let it divide the waters from the waters!’ And how big
[is the interval]? R. Aha b. Jacob said, As a hair's breadth; and the Rabbis said: As [between] the
boards of a landing bridge. Mar Zutra, or according to others R. Assi, said: As [between] two cloaks
spread one over the other; and others say, as [between] two cups tilted one over the other. 10
Aher mutilated the shoots.11 Of him Scripture says: Suffer not thy mouth to bring thy flesh into
guilt.12 What does it refer to? — He saw that permission was granted to Metatron13 to sit and write
down14 the merits of Israel. Said he: It is taught as a tradition that on high15 there is no sitting16 and
no emulation, and no back,17 and no weariness.18 Perhaps, — God forfend! — there are two
divinities! [Thereupon] they led Metatron forth, and punished him with sixty fiery lashes,19 saying to
him: Why didst thou not rise before him when thou didst see him? Permission was [then] given to
him to strike out the merits of Aher. A Bath Kol20 went forth and said: Return, ye backsliding
children21 — except Aher.22 [Thereupon] he said: Since I23 have been driven forth from yonder
world,24 let me go forth and enjoy this world. So Aher went forth into evil courses.25 He went forth,
found a harlot and demanded her. She said to him: Art thou not Elisha b. Abuyah? [But] when he
tore a radish26 out of its bed on the Sabbath and gave it to her, she said: It is another [Aher].27 After
his apostasy, Aher asked R. Meir [a question], saying to him: What is the meaning of the verse: God
hath made even the one as28 well as the other?29 He replied: It means that for everything that God
created He created [also] its counterpart. He created mountains, and created hills; He created seas,
and created rivers. Said [Aher] to him: R. Akiba, thy master, did not explain it thus, but [as follows]:
He created righteous, and created wicked; He created the Garden of Eden,30 and created
Gehinnom.31 Everyone has two portions, one in the Garden of Eden and one in Gehinnom. The
righteous man, being meritorious,32 takes his own portions and his fellow's portion in the Garden of
Eden. The wicked man, being guilty,33 takes his own portion and his fellow's portion in Gehinnom.
R. Mesharsheya said: What is the Biblical proof for this? In the case of the righteous, it is written:
Therefore in their land34 they shall possess double.35 In the case of the wicked it is written: And
destroy them with double destruction.36
After his apostasy, Aher asked R. Meir: What is the meaning of the verse: Gold and glass cannot
equal it; neither shall the exchange thereof be vessels of fine gold?37 He answered: These are the
words of the Torah, which are hard to acquire like vessels of fine gold, but are easily destroyed38 like
vessels of glass. Said [Aher] to him: R. Akiba, thy master, did not explain thus, but [as follows]: Just
as vessels of gold and vessels of glass, though they be broken, have a remedy,39 even so a scholar,
though he has sinned, has a remedy.40 [Thereupon, R. Meir] said to him: Then, thou, too, repent! He
replied: I have already heard from behind the Veil:41 Return ye backsliding children — except Aher.
Our Rabbis taught: Once Aher was riding on a horse on the Sabbath,42 and R. Meir was walking
behind him to learn Torah43 at his mouth. Said [Aher] to him: Meir, turn back, for I have already
measured by the paces of my horse that thus far extends the Sabbath limit.44 He replied: Thou, too,
go back! [Aher] answered: Have I not already told thee that I have already heard from behind the
Veil: ‘Return ye backsliding children’ — except Aher. [R. Meir] prevailed upon him and took him,
to a schoolhouse. [Aher] said to a child: Recite for me thy verse!45 [The child] answered: There is no
peace, saith the Lord, unto the wicked.46 He then took him to another schoolhouse.47 [Aher] said to a
child: Recite for me thy verse! He answered: For though thou wash thee with nitre, and take thee
much soap, yet thine iniquity is marked before Me, saith the Lord God48 . He took him to yet another
schoolhouse, and [Aher] said
(1) I.e., without the woman losing her virginity.
(2) Exceptional cases are not taken into account; the marriage, therefore, would be illegal.
(3) Into which a male had discharged semen.
(4) He was so lost in thought that he failed to show the respect of disciple to master. Cf. the parallel passage, Gen. Rab.
II, 4, which contains interesting variants.
(5) l.e., what is the trend of your thoughts? The parallel passage (in Gen. Rab.) has ohkdrv ihtn, ‘whence the
(6) V. Gen. I, 6-7.
(7) Ibid. v. 2.
(8) Cf. the parallel passage in J. Hag. II, 1, where B. Zoma quotes Deut. XXXII, 11; and v. Rashi to this verse.
(9) I.e., out of his mind (R. Hai Gaon). The reading in Gen. Rab. is ‘is gone’. (12) Gen. I, 6.
(10) [For an attempt to explain the passage v. Weinstein Zur Genesis der Agada, p. 199, Ben Zoma in his view was an
adherent of the view that water was the primordial matter out of which the world was created, V. also Graetz,
Gnosticismus, pp. 57, 97. We have, however, lost the key to enable us to explain with certainty the thought-forms
underlying this and similar Talmudic passages.]
(11) V. supra p. 91, n. 10.
(12) Eccl. V, 5. (A.V. 6); v. rest of verse.
(13) The name of one of the highest angels. Various derivations of the word have been suggested. Cf. Levy and Jast. s.v.
For an illuminating article on the character, activities and identity of Metatron, v. J.E. vol. VIII, p. 519.
(14) The sentence may also be rendered thus: ‘He saw M. to whom permission was given to be seated while writing
down etc.’ (Jast.).
(15) I.e., in heaven.
(16) MS.M. (v. Rabb. D.S. a.I.) reads: ‘no standing and no sitting’ i.e., no effort and no rest. This reading, in reverse
order, was known to Maim. (Comm. on Mishnah Sanhedrin, ch. 10); but Rashi deletes the words ‘no standing’.
(17) I.e., the angels have faces in all directions (Rashi), Jast. explains i.e., everything is in sight. Maim. (loc. cit.) renders:
(18) Maim. ‘no junction’.
(19) I.e., he was beaten with ‘heated disks or rings strung on a lash’ (Jast.). The purpose of the punishment was to show
that M. had no more power than others (Tosaf.).
(20) V. p. 73, n. 12.
(21) Jer. III, 22.
(22) According to our passage, Aher was guilty of the heresy of dualism. L. Ginzberg (J.E. vol. V, pp. 138-139) denies
all historic worth to the story given here, which, on account of its reference to Metatron — which he declares to be a
specifically Babylonian idea — and its lack of connection with the introductory words, he declares to be of late origin.
Ginzberg prefers the parallel account in J. Hag. II, l, where it is related that when Elisha saw a scholar he slew him, that
he enticed the young from studying the Torah, and that he informed against the Jews when they sought to perform the
work they were ordered to do on the Sabbath in a manner not to break the Law, These events undoubtedly refer to the
period of the Hadrianic persecutions. In the J.T. two reasons are mentioned for his apostasy: according to some, he saw
one man break the precept of Deut. XXII, 7, without coming to harm, and another observe it and get killed; according to
others, he saw the tongue of the great scholar R. Judah Nahtum in the mouth of a dog. The J.T. also gives a different
version of the verses discussed by Elisha with R. Meir, and of what R. Meir said on his master's death (v. J.E. vol. VIII,
(23) Lit., ‘that man’, a frequent euphemism for I or thou (to avoid ominous speech or curse).
(24) I.e. ‘ he would have no share in the world to come (cf. Sanh. 90a (Sonc. ed., p. 601).
(25) Lit,, ‘evil growth’, hence, ‘evil rearing, manners, ways’. The stories that follow show the expression to mean here
moral depravity and apostasy.
(26) Strictly, the soft tuber of the radish; cf. ‘Er. 28b.
(27) ‘Aher’ is thus explained to mean ‘another person’. Ginzberg (op. cit.) takes the view that it is a euphemism for a
vile thing (cf. rjt rcs). V. p. 91, n. 3.
(28) Lit., ‘corresponding to’, or ‘over against’.
(29) Eccl. VII, 14.
(30) I.e., Paradise, for the righteous in the life hereafter.
(31) V. p. 82, n. 1; cf. J.E. vol. V, pp. 582f. Whereas R. Meir explains the verse as referring to physical counterparts of
nature R. Akiba understands it to speak of moral contrasts with their consequent reward and punishment. Cf. n. 6.
(32) Lit., ‘having been declared innocent, i.e., In the Heavenly Court,
(33) Lit., ‘having been declared guilty’.
(34) I. e., Paradise.
(35) lsa. LXI, 7.
(36) Jer. XVII, 18.
(37) Job. XXVIII, 17.
(38) I.e., forgotten.
(39) I.e., can be repaired.
(40) I.e., can repent.
(41) Heb. sudrp, from Latin paraganda = a garment ornamented with a border (so called because of its phrygian
origin). For other derivations v. Levy s.v. Here pargod denotes the ‘curtain of heaven’ and corresponds to Wilon (v. p.
69, n. 5). V. also p. 101.
(42) V. Bez. V, 2.
(43) V. Glos.
(44) I.e., two thousand cubits (in all directions) from the place where a person makes his abode for the Sabbath, beyond
which it is forbidden to go on the day of rest; cf. Shab. XXIV, 5; ‘Er. IV, 3; V, 7.
(45) I.e., the verse which thou hast studied today. The answer thus obtained was considered to have the authority of an
(46) Isa, XLVIII, 22.
(47) The expression used here and in the rest of this passage is t,ahbf hc, lit., ‘House of Assembly, Synagogue’.
But above, ‘schoolhouse’ translated tarsn hc, lit., ‘House of study’. For the use of the Synagogue as a school and
for the exact signification of the Aramaic terms v. S. Krauss, TA. III, p. 204f.
(48) Jer. II, 22.
Talmud - Mas. Chagigah 15b
to a child: Recite for me thy verse! He answered: And thou, that art spoiled, what doest thou, that
thou clothest thyself with scarlet, that thou deckest thee with ornaments of gold, that thou enlargest
thine eyes with paint? In vain dost thou make thyself fair etc.1 He took him to yet another
schoolhouse until he took him to thirteen schools: all of them quoted in similar vein. When he said to
the last one, Recite for my thy verse, he answered: But unto the wicked God saith: ‘What hast thou
to do to declare My statutes etc.?2 That child was a stutterer, so it sounded as though he answered:
‘But to Elisha3 God saith’. Some say that [Aher] had a knife with him, and he cut him up and sent
him to the thirteen schools: and some say that he said: Had I a knife in my hand I would have cut
When Aher died,4 they said:5 Let him not be judged, nor let him enter the world to come. Let him
not be judged, because he engaged in the study of the Torah; nor let him enter the world to come,
because he sinned. R. Meir said: It were better that he should be judged and that he should enter the
world to come. When I die I shall cause6 smoke to rise from his grave.7 When R. Meir died, smoke
rose up from Aher's grave. R. Johanan said: [What] a mighty deed to burn his master! There was one
amongst us, and we cannot save him;8 if I were to take him by the hand, who would snatch him from
me! [But] said he:9 When I die, I shall extinguish the smoke from his grave.10 When R. Johanan
died, the smoke ceased from Aher's grave. The public mourner11 began [his oration] concerning
him12 thus: Even the janitor13 could not stand before thee, O master!
Aher's daughter [once] came before Rabbi and said to him: O master, support me! He asked her:
‘Whose daughter art thou?’ She replied: I am Aher's daughter. Said he: Are any of his children left in
the world? Behold it is written: He shall have neither son nor son's son among his people, nor any
remaining in his dwellings.14 She answered: Remember his Torah15 and not his deeds. Forthwith, a
fire came down and enveloped Rabbi's bench.16 [Thereupon] Rabbi wept and said: If it be so on
account of those who dishonour her,17 how much more so on account of those who honour her!
But how did R. Meir learn Torah at the mouth of Aher? Behold Rabbah b. Bar Hana said that R.
Johanan said: What is the meaning of the verse, For the priest's lips should keep knowledge, and they
should seek the Law at his mouth; for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts?18 [This means that] if
the teacher is like an angel of the Lord of hosts, they should seek the Law at his mouth, but if not,
they should not seek the Law at his mouth! — Resh Lakish answered: R. Meir found a verse and
expounded it [as follows]: Incline thine ear, and hear the words of the wise, and apply thy heart unto
my knowledge.19 It does not say, ‘unto their knowledge’, but ‘unto my knowledge’.20 R. Hanina
said, [he decided it] from here: Hearken, O daughter, and consider, and incline thine ear; forget also
thine own people, and thy father's house etc.21 The verses contradict one another!22 There is no
contradiction: in the one case Scripture refers to an adult,23 in the other to a child. When R. Dimi
came [to Babylon] he said: In the West,24 they say: R. Meir ate the date and threw the kernel 25 away.
Raba expounded: What is the meaning of the verse: I went down to the garden of nuts, to look at
the green plants of the valley etc.?26 Why are the scholars likened to the nut? To tell you that just as
[in the case of] the nut, though it be spoiled with mud and filth, yet are its contents not contemned,
so [in the case of] a scholar, although he may have sinned, yet is his Torah not contemned.
Rabbah b. Shila [once] met Elijah.27 He said to him: What is the Holy One, blessed be He, doing?
He answered: He utters traditions in the name28 of all the Rabbis, but in the name of R. Meir he does
not utter. Rabbah asked him, Why? — Because he learnt traditions at the mouth of Aher. Said
[Rabbah] to him: But why? R. Meir found a pomegranate; he ate [the fruit] within it, and the peel he
threw away! He answered: Now29 He says: Meir my son says: When a man suffers,30 to what
expression does the Shechinah give utterance? ‘My head is heavy, my arm is heavy’.31 If the Holy
One, blessed be He, is thus grieved over the blood of the wicked, how much more so over the blood
of the righteous that is shed. Samuel found Rab Judah leaning on the door-bolt weeping. So he said
to him: O, keen scholar,32 wherefore dost thou weep? He replied: Is it a small thing that is written
concerning the Rabbis?33 Where is he that counted, where is he that weighed? Where is he that
counted the towers?34 ‘Where is he that counted?’ — for they counted all the letters in the Torah.
‘Where is he that weighed?’ — for they weighed the light and the heavy35 in the Torah. ‘Where is he
that counted the towers?’ — for they taught three hundred halachoth36 concerning a ‘tower which
flies in the air’.37 And R. Ammi said: Three hundred questions38 did Doeg39 and Ahitophel40 raise
concerning a ‘tower which flies in the air’. Yet we have learnt: Three kings and four commoners41
have no share in the world to come. What then shall become of us? Said [Samuel] to him. O, keen
scholar, there was impurity42 in their hearts. — But what of Aher?43 — Greek song did not cease
from his mouth.44 It is told of Aher that when he used to rise [to go] from the schoolhouse,45 many
heretical books46 used to fall from his lap.
Nimos the weaver47 asked R. Meir: Does all wool that goes down into the [dyeing] kettle come up
[properly dyed]?48 He replied: All that was clean on its mother49 comes up [properly dyed], all that
was not clean on its mother does not come up [properly dyed].
R. Akiba went up unhurt and went down50 unhurt; and of him Scripture says: Draw me, we will
run after thee.51 And R. Akiba too the ministering angels sought to thrust away; [but] the Holy One,
blessed be He, said to them: Let this elder be, for he is worthy to avail himself of My glory.
(1) Ibid. IV, 30.
(2) Ps. L, 16.
(3) The child pronounced garku (‘and unto the wicked’) like gahktku(‘and unto Elisha’). Note that t and r are
(4) Lit,, ‘his soul rested’.
(5) I.e,, in heaven,
(6) By my prayer.
(7) I.e., as a sign that he was judged and punished for his sins.
(8) I.e., one scholar among us went astray, yet all of us together have not the power to save him!
(9) Var. lec. omit ‘said he’,
(10) I.e., as a sign that he was forgiven.
(11) V. S. Krauss, T.A. II, p. 68.
(12) I.e., R. Johanan.
(13) I.e., of hell.
(14) Job. XVIII, 19. The verse forms part of a description of the fate of the wicked; cf. v. 5. In the eyes of Bildad (v. I),
Job was an infidel.
(15) I.e., his vast knowledge of the Torah. Though theory should not be divorced from practice, the study of the Torah is
in itself a merit: cf. Ab. IV, 5.
(16) Cf. p. 89.
(17) I.e., the Torah.
(18) Mal. II, 7.
(19) Prov. XXII, 17.
(20) Since the heart may not be applied to their knowledge, it shows that the acts of the wise men referred to must be
wicked. Nevertheless, their words may be listened to. Thus R. Meir could learn from Aher, provided he did not imitate
the latter's deeds.
(21) Ps. XLV, 11. I.e., hearken to the words of the wise, but forget their actions, if they are wicked.
(22) I.e., the two verses contradict Mal. II,7 quoted above.
(23) An adult, unlike a child, can use discrimination, and avoid the teacher's wrongdoing; hence the last two verses
permit him to learn even from a heretic.
(24) I.e., Palestine, which is west of Babylonia.
(25) So Rashi and Levy; Jast. trans., ‘peel’. V. D.5. a.I. n. 30.
(26) Cant. VI, 11.
(27) For Elijah in Rabbinic literature v. J.E. vol. V, pp. 122ff(especially p. 124).
(28) Lit., ‘from the mouth’.
(29) I.e., since you have pleaded for him,
(30) The passage refers to capital punishment, v. Sanh. 46a.
(31) Lit., ‘I am lighter than my head etc.’, a euphemistic expression for feeling heavy, giddy. weak; v. Sanh., Sonc. ed.,
pp. 304, 306. The anthropomorphism is intended to show how near God is to man and how real is His sorrow for him in
the time of his trouble, even though he be a delinquent and fully deserve his punishment.
(32) Shinena, lit., ‘sharp one’; aliter ‘man with long (sharp) tooth’.
(33) I.e., about those who went astray into evil courses.
(34) Isa. XXXIII, 18.
(35) I.e., expounded the Torah according to the hermeneutical rule of ke (light, unimportant) rnuju (heavy,
important) i.e., by arguing from minor to major and vice versa.
(36) I.e., fixed traditional laws, V. Glos.
(37) An obscure expression for which Rashi both here and Sanh. 106b (Sonc. ed., p. 727) offers several interpretations,
The most likely explanations relate the ‘flying tower’ to the laws of defilement. It could then mean: (a) A portable
turret-shaped conveyance, in which an Israelite entered heathen land, which is regarded as levitically unclean; v. Tosef.
Oh. and Rashi to Sanh. l.c. ‘Flying’ will thus mean ‘moving’ i.e., being carried. (b) An open chest or cupboard
containing a levitically unclean object, which stands in an open space; v, Oh. IV, If. In this case, it is best to read ‘open’,
or, as in the Mishnah ‘standing’. The following are less plausible explanations: — (a) The upper stroke of the letter
lamed, i.e., they taught three hundred traditions concerning so insignificant a matter. (b) The tower of Babel. (c) A tower
suspended in mid-air by magic. Cf. Sanh. 68a (Sonc. ed., p. 462), concerning the planting of cucumbers by magic.
(38) An indication of their profound learning. V. the variant reading in Sanh, l.c.
(39) Cf. I Sam. XXI, 8 where ‘the chiefest of the herdmen’ is explained by Rashi as ‘the head of the Beth din’.
(40) Cf. II Sam. XVI, 23.
(41) The three kings are, Jeroboam, Ahab and Manasseh; the four commoners, Balaam, Doeg, Ahitophel and Gehazi,
Thus their profound learning did not save Doeg and Ahitophel. V. Sanh. 90a, (Sonc. ed,, pp. 602f).
(42) Lit., ‘clay’, i.e., heathen sensuality (Jast.). Aliter: ‘gnawing worm’; ‘jealousy’, i.e., evil thoughts (Levy). Whatever
the exact rendering, the meaning is: They were wickedly inclined from the beginning, hence their knowledge of the
Torah could not protect them.
(43) I.e., why did not his study of the Torah save him?
(44) Rashi reads: ‘from his house’. Why Greek song should have been the cause of Aher's corruption is not clear. Rashi
says that he transgressed the prohibition against music after the destruction of the Temple (v. Git. 7a; cf. Isa. XXIV, 9).
Maharsha rightly objects that this does not explain the word Greek: the Gemara could have simply stated that song did
not cease from his mouth. He suggests, therefore, that the Greek songs were tainted by heresy. Perhaps the simplest
explanation is that Aher's devotion to Greek literature eventually led him to accept ideas which were contrary to Jewish
(45) I.e., before his apostasy.
(46) Lit., ‘books of Minim’ (v. Glos. s.v. Min).
(47) hsrd, Lat. gerdino. Cf. R. Isaac the Smith, R. Johanan the Sandalmaker etc. Being a weaver, the allegory
employed by Nimos is appropriate. But Jast. holds that hrsd equals (by transposition) hrsd and means ‘of Gadara’.
He also regards xunhb as a shortened form of xunhbct (cf. Gen. Rab. s. 65), who, he thinks, is to be identified with
the cynic philosopher Oenomaus.
(48) Rashi explains: does the study of the Torah serve to protect all students from sin? Jast.: i.e., does every student of
mystic philosophy escape death or scepticism? (So too Aruch). Note Oenomaus was a cynic.
(49) I.e., when the sheep was sheared, i.e., all who begin the study of the Torah when they are free from sin; or
(following Jast. and Aruch), all who engage in mystic speculation in perfect purity, like R. Akiba. Cf. Ab. III, 9 (Sonc.
ed., p. 32).
(50) Cf. ‘entered . . . departed’ supra pp. 90-91.
(51) Cant. I, 4. I.e., R. Akiba was able to follow God right into Paradise, or (according to the other opinions) into the
deepest mysteries of theosophy.
Talmud - Mas. Chagigah 16a
— By what Biblical exposition was he able to learn this?1 Rabbah b. Bar Hanah said that R.
Johanan said: And He came from the myriads holy2 — He is the Sign3 among His myriad. And R.
Abbahu said: He is preeminent above ten thousand4 — He is the Example5 among His myriad. And
Resh Lakish said: The Lord of hosts is His names6 — He is the Lord among His host. — And R.
Hiyya b. Abba said that R. Johanan said: But the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an
earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was
‘not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice. 7 And behold, the Lord passed by.8
Our Rabbis taught: Six things are said concerning demons:9 in regard to three, they are like the
ministering angels; and in regard to three, like human beings. ‘In regard to three they are like the
ministering angels’: they have wings like the ministering angels; and they fly from one end of the
world to the other like the ministering angels; and they know what will happen like the ministering
angels. [You say], ‘They know’ — you cannot mean that!10 — Rather, they hear from behind the
Veil11 like the ministering angels. ‘And in regard to three, they are like human beings’: they eat and
drink like human beings; they propagate like human beings; and they die like human beings. Six
things are said of human beings: in regard to three, they are like the ministering angels, and in regard
to three, they are like beasts. ‘In regard to three, they are like the ministering angels’: they have
understanding like the ministering angels; and they walk erect like the ministering angels; and they
can talk in the holy tongue12 like the ministering angels. ‘In regard to three, they are like beasts’:
they eat and drink like beasts; and they propagate like beasts, and they relieve themselves like beasts.
WHOSOEVER SPECULATES UPON FOUR THINGS, IT WERE A MERCY IF13 HE HAD
NOT COME INTO THE WORLD etc. Granted as regards what is above, what is beneath,14 what
[will be] after,15 that is well. But as regards what was before — what happened, happened!16 — Both
R. Johanan and Resh Lakish say: It is like a human king who said to his servants: Build for me a
great palace upon the dunghill.17 They went and built it for him. It is not the king's wish
[thenceforth] to have the name of the dunghill mentioned.
WHOSOEVER TAKES NO THOUGHT FOR THE HONOUR OF HIS MAKER, IT WERE A
MERCY IF HE HAD NOT COME INTO THE WORLD. What does this mean? R. Abba said: It
refers to one who looks at the rainbow. R. Joseph said: It refers to one who commits transgression in
secret. ‘One who looks at a rainbow’, for it is written: As the appearance of the bow that is in the
cloud in the day, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of
the likeness of the glory of the Lord.18 R. Joseph said: ‘It refers to one who commits a transgression
in secret’, in accordance with R. Isaac's teaching. For R. Isaac said: When anyone commits a
transgression in secret, it is as though he thrust aside the feet of the Divine Presence, for it is said:
Thus saith the Lord: The heaven is My throne, and the earth is My footstool.19 But is this so? For
behold R. Elai the elder said: If a man sees that his [evil] inclination is prevailing upon him, let him
go to a place where he is not known, and put on black garments,20 and wrap himself up21 in black
garments, and let him do what his heart desires;22 but let him not profane the Name of Heaven
publicly! — There is no contradiction. The one case speaks of one who is able to overcome23 his
[evil] inclination; the other case of one who is not able to overcome his [evil] inclination.
R. Judah b. R. Nahmani, the speaker24 of Resh Lakish expounded: Anyone who looks at three
things, his eyes become dim; at the rainbow, and at the Prince,25 and at the priests. At the rainbow,
because it is written: As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain . . . This was
the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord.26 At the Prince, for it is written: And thou
shalt put of thy honour upon him.27 One who looks at the priests — at the time when the Temple
existed, when they stood upon their platform28 and blessed Israel with the Distinguished Name29 [of
God]. R. Judah son of R. Nahmani, the speaker of Resh Lakish expounded: What is the meaning of
the verse: Trust ye not in a friend, put ye not confidence in a familiar friend.30 If the evil inclination
say to thee: Sin and the Holy One, blessed be He, will pardon, believe it not, for it is said: ‘Trust ye
not in a friend’, and ‘friend’ [Rea’] means none other than one's evil inclination, for it is said: For the
inclination31 of man's heart is evil [Ra’].32 And ‘familiar friend’ means none other than the Holy
One, blessed be He, for it is said: Thou art the familiar friend of my youth.33 Perhaps thou wilt say:
Who testifies against me? The stones of a man's home and the beams of his house testify against
him, for it is said: For the stone shall cry out of the wall, and the beam out of the timber shall answer
it.34 But the Sages say: A man's soul testifies against him, for it is said: Keep the doors of thy mouth
from her that lieth in thy bosom.30 What is it that lies in a man's bosom? You must say, it is the soul.
R. Zerika said: Two ministering angels that accompany him testify against him, for it is said: For He
will give His angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.35 But the Sages36 say: A man's
limbs testify against him, for it is said: Therefore ye are My witnesses,37 saith the Lord, and I am
MISHNAH. JOSE B. JO'EZER39 SAYS THAT [ON A FESTIVAL-DAY] THE LAYING ON OF
HANDS [ON THE HEAD OF A SACRIFICE]40 MAY NOT BE PERFORMED;41 JOSEPH B.
JOHANAN SAYS THAT IT MAY BE PERFORMED.42 JOSHUA B. PERAHIA SAYS THAT IT
MAY NOT RE PERFORMED; NITTAI THE ARBELITE43 SAYS THAT IT MAY BE
PERFORMED. JUDAH B. TARBAI SAYS THAT IT MAY NOT BE PERFORMED; SIMEON A.
SHETAH SAYS THAT IT MAY BE PERFORMED. SHEMAIAH SAYS THAT IT MAY BE
PERFORMED; ABTALION SAYS THAT IT MAY NOT BE PERFORMED.44 HILLEL AND
MENAHEM DID NOT DIFFER. MENAHEM WENT FORTH,45 SHAMMAI ENTERED.46
SHAMMAI SAYS THAT IT MAY NOT BE PERFORMED; HILLEL SAYS THAT IT MAY BE
(1) Lit., ‘what did he expound’? i.e., from which verse did R. Akiba learn to distinguish God's Presence so as to avoid
Aher's error of dualism, or (according to another interpretation of Rashi) so as not to look in the direction of the
Shechinah (Divine Presence)?
(2) Deut. XXXIII, 2.
(3) v,tu (‘and He came’) is explained as v,tu (‘and His sign’). Jast. translates: ‘He is the ensign among his
myriad’. Goldschmidt: ‘He is distinguished among his myriads’.
(4) Cant. V, 10.
(5) Heb. tndus. There is a play here on the text vccrn kuds (‘pre-eminent among the thousand’) from which
tndus is derived. The expositions of the different Rabbis have the common object of showing that God's Presence
could be distinguished from his myriad attendants; fine shades of difference are not necessarily to be sought. But for the
thought underlying this particular homiletical play, cf. Lev. XIX, 2. Jast. translates: ‘He is exemplified by His myriad (of
angels)’, i.e., the Divine nature is recognized indirectly from the nature of His ministering angels, v. Cant. Rab. to V, 9.
But this seems hardly in keeping with the line of thought demanded by the context. Goldschmidt: ‘He is marked out
among his myriads’.
(6) Isa. XLVIII, 2.
(7) 1 Kings XIX, 11, 12. Thus the Divine Presence could be distinguished from the rest of the theophany.
(8) .Ibid. v. 11; in the Bible this clause precedes the previous quotation.
(9) V. J.E. vol. IV, pp. 514f, and Nachmanides on Lev. XVII, 7.
(10) Prescience is a divine attribute,
(11) V. p. 95, n. 10.
(12) The power of learning to speak the Hebrew language is common to all men.
(13) The wording here is slightly different from the Mishnah text (s.v.), but does not alter the meaning.
(14) Cf. p. 59, n. 7 and Deut. XXXIII, 27.
(15) I.e., in the hereafter.
(16) I.e., it is no longer a secret.
(17) The dunghill here represents the primordial chaos; the palace, ordered creation.
(18) Ezek. I, 28. Since the rainbow was symbolic of the Divine Glory, it was irreverent to gaze at it.
(19) Isa. LXVI, 1. But he that sins in secret denies this, for he implies that God has no access to his hiding-place.
(20) In the hope that exile and mourning clothes (cf. Shab. 114a, Jannai's request) would cool his passion and cause him
to abandon his wicked intention.
(21) To produce a serious frame of mind; cf p. 88, n. 9.
(22) I.e., should his passion remain unmastered, let him at least commit the sin in secret. But R. Hananel deprecates the
thought that the Talmud permits sin even in such circumstances and interprets our passage thus: certainly the effect of
exile and dark garments will be to conquer the man's evil inclination, so that he will then be able to do what his heart
truly desires, i.e., serve God.
(23) Lit., ‘bend’.
(24) Methurgeman. Lit., ‘interpreter’, used here in the sense of Amora, ‘speaker’; v. J.E. vol. VIII, p. 521.
(25) Heb. Nasi; v. infra p. 105, n. 6.
(26) Ezek. I, 28.
(27) Num. XXVII, 20. Moses’ face could not be gazed at; v. Ex. XXXIV, 29-35. A part of Moses’ honour belonged not
merely to Joshua but to every Jewish leader.
(28) V. J.E. vol. V, p. 9 (s.v. Dukan).
(29) I.e., pronounced the Shem ha-meforash, the Tetragrammaton (vuvh), instead of the usual substitute hbst when
uttering the sacerdotal blessing. Num. VI, 24-26. cf. Sot. VII, 6; and Sanh. 90a (Sonc. ed., p. 602). The exact meaning of
the term Shem ha-meforash is obscure: v. Levy and Jast and J.E. vol. XI, pp. 262f. Tosaf, (a.l.) points out that outside the
Temple too, e.g., in the provinces, it was forbidden to look at the priests during the pronouncement of the sacerdotal
blessing, the reason according to the J.T. being to prevent the distraction of the people's attention.
(30) Mic. VII, 5.
(31) E.V. ‘imagination’.
(32) Gen. VIII, 21, Only the vowels differentiate gr(friend) from gr(evil).
(33) Jer. III, 4.
(34) Hab. II, 11.
(35) Ps. XCI, 11.
(36) In Ta'an. the reading is, ‘Some say’ = R. Nathan (v. Hor. 13b; cf. p. 14, n. 5).
(37) I.e., ye yourselves (sc. your very bodies) testify to your own sins.
(38) Isa. XLIII, 12.
(39) In Tem. 16a: Joseph b. Jo'ezer. For the successive generations of scholars mentioned here v. Aboth I, 4-12 (Sonc.
ed., pp. 3-8 and nn. a.l.).
(40) Cf. Lev, 1, 4.
(41) The same restrictions regarding work applied to Festival-days as to the Sabbath, except in respect of work essential
to the preparation of food, which was permitted on the Festivals (v. Bez. V, 2). Now the ‘laying on of the hands’ had to
be performed with all one's strength, so that the weight of the person was supported by the animal; and this was
considered an infringement of the Sabbath rule not ‘to make use’ of an animal. The point of the controversy, therefore, is
this: Had the laying on of the hands to be done immediately prior to the slaughter, and consequently could be regarded as
essential to the preparation of food, i.e., the sacrificial meal; or could this be done on the preceding day, so that the
profanation of the holyday by this act became unnecessary, although the slaughtering took place on the Festival day? V.
Bez. II, 4 and Bertinoro a.l.
(42) In the J. Hag. II, 2 we are told: At first there was no controversy in Israel except over the laying on of the hands
alone. But Shammai and Hillel arose and made them four (in Bab. Shab. 14b, only three points of dispute are mentioned;
cf. Tosaf. to our passage). When the disciples of the School of Hillel increased, and they did not study sufficiently under
their masters (lit., ‘did not sufficiently minister to their masters’), the controversies in Israel increased, and they became
divided into two companies, the one declaring unclean, the other declaring clean. And (the Torah) will not again return
to its (uncontroversial) place until the son of David (i.e., the Messiah) will come. For the meaning and importance of this
controversy v. further Weiss, Dor I, 103f; Frankel, Hodegetica in Mischnam pp. 43-44; Jacob Levi, in Ozar Nehmod III,
Vienna 1860. [The controversy has also been ingeniously interpreted as referring to the question of ‘acceptance of
authority’ and not the laying on of hands. V. Zeitlin, JQR, (N.S.) VII, pp. 499ff; Sidon A, Gedenkbuck Kaufmann, pp.
355ff and Bornstein, A. Hatekufah IV, p. 396.]
(43) I.e., of Arbel, on the borders of Lake Galilee. V. Ab. I, 6 (Sonc. ed., p. 5, n. 3.).
(44) This pair is exceptional in so far as the first Sage permits and the second prohibits.
(45) V. p. 108.
(46) I.e., in the former's place as Head of the Court.
Talmud - Mas. Chagigah 16b
THE FORMER [OF EACH] PAIR WERE PRINCES1 AND THE LATTER WERE HEADS OF
GEMARA. Our Rabbis taught: The three of the former pairs3 who said that the laying on of the
hands may not be performed, and the two of the latter pairs who said that it may be performed, were
Princes, and the others were Heads of the Court — this is the view of R. Meir. But the Sages say:
Judah b. Tabbai was Head of the Court, and Simeon b. Shetah was Prince. Who taught the following
teaching of our Rabbis? R.4 Judah b. Tabbai said: May I see consolation,5 if I did not have a Zomem6
-witness put to death as a demonstration7 against the Sadducees8 who said that Zomemim-witnesses
were not to be put to death unless [through their false evidence] the accused had [already] been put
to death. Said Simeon b. Shetah to him: May I see consolation, if thou didst not shed innocent blood.
For the Sages said: Zomemim-witnesses are not put to death until both of them have been proved
Zomemim; and they are not flogged9 until both of them have been proved Zomemim; and they are
not ordered to pay money [as damages]10 until both of them have been proved Zomemim. Forthwith
Judah b. Tabbai undertook never to give a decision except in the presence of Simeon b. Shetah.11 All
his days Judah b. Tabbai prostrated himself on the grave of the executed man, and his voice used to
be heard. The people believed that it was the voice of the executed man; [but] he said to them: ‘It is
my voice. Ye shall know this [by the fact that] on the morrow [when] I die my voice will not be
heard’.12 R. Aha the son of Raba said to R. Ashi: But perhaps he13 appeased him, or [the deceased]
summoned him to judgment!14 — According to whom will this15 be? Granted, if you say [it is
according to] R. Meir, who said that Simeon b. Shetah was Head of the Court [and] R. Judah b.
Tabbai was Prince, that is why he decided points of law in the presence of Simeon b. Shetah; but if
you say [it is according to] the Rabbis, who say that Judah b. Tabbai was Head of the Court [and]
Simeon b. Shetah was Prince, how may the Head of the Court decide points of law in the presence of
the Prince!16 — No,’he undertook’ is to be understood with reference to association. [He said]: I will
not even join [with other judges to give a decision, unless Simeon b. Shetah is present].17
MENAHEM WENT FORTH AND SHAMMAI ENTERED etc. Whither did he go forth? Abaye
said: He went forth into evil courses.18 Raba said: He went forth to the King's service. Thus it is also
taught: Menahem went forth to the King's service, and there went forth with him eighty pairs of
disciples dressed in silk.
R. Shimon b. Abba said that R. Johanan said: Never let [the principle] of Shebuth19 [Rest] be
unimportant in thy eyes. For the laying on of the hands [on a Festival-day] is [prohibited] only on
account of Shebuth, yet the great men of the age differed thereon.20 But is this not already quite
clear!21 — It is required on account of a precept [the fulfilment of which is prohibited] as Shebuth.22
But is not that too quite clear!23 — [It is required] to contradict the view that they differ regarding
the laying on of the hands itself: thus he teaches us that it is in regard to Shebuth that they differ. 24
Rami b. Hama said: You can deduce from this25 that the laying on of hands must be done with all
one's strength; for if you suppose that one's whole strength is not required, what [work] does one do
by laying on the hands?26 An objection was raised: [It is written]: Speak unto the sons of Israel . . .
and he shall lay his hands.27 The sons of Israel lay on the hands but the daughters of Israel do not lay
on the hands. R. Jose and R. Simeon28 say: The daughters of Israel lay on the hands optionally.29 R.
Jose said: Abba Eleazar told me: Once we had a calf which was a peace-sacrifice, and we brought it
to the Women's Court,30 and women laid the hands on it — not that the laying on of the hands has to
be done by women, but in order to gratify the women.31 Now if you suppose that we require the
laying on of the hands to be done with all one's strength, would we, for the sake of gratifying the
women, permit work to be done with holy sacrifices!32 Is it to be inferred, therefore, that we do not
require all one's strength? — Actually, I can answer you that we do require [it to be] with all one's
strength, [but the women] were told to hold their hands lightly.33 If so, [what need was there to say],
‘not that the laying on of the hands has to be done by women’? He could [more simply] have pointed
out that it was no laying on of the hands at all! R. Ammi said: His argument runs: Firstly and
secondly. Firstly, it was no laying on of the hands at all, and secondly, it was [done] In order to
gratify the women.34
R. Papa said: One may conclude from this35 that it is forbidden [on a holy day to make use of] the
sides [of an animal].36 For if you suppose that it is permitted [to make use of] the sides, let the hands
be laid on the side.37 It must be concluded, therefore, that it is forbidden to make use of the sides.38
(1) Heb. Nasi, i.e., President of the Sanhedrin. V. J.E. vol. IX, pp. 171-2; and Strack's Introduction to the Talmud and
Midrash, p. 1072, n. 3.
(2) Heb. Ab beth din, Father of the Court; i.e., Vice-president of the Sanhedrin; cf. p. 75, n. 5.
(3) Heb. ,uduz (Zugoth), Grk. **. The term is applied only to the five pairs of leading teachers mentioned in our
Mishnah (cf. Pe'ah II, 6); they were followed by the period of the Tannaim (v. Glos.). V. Ab. I, 4 (Sonc. ed., p. 3. n. 8);
and supra p. 105, n. 6.
(4) [Var. lec. rightly omit: ‘R’].
(5) A euphemistic form of oath, meaning, ‘may I not live to see the consolation of Zion’. According to this explanation
(given by Tosaf. and Jast.), Judah b. Tabbai and his colleague looked forward to fuller restoration of Israel's glory than
was achieved in their day, v. Mak., Sonc. ed., p. 27, n. 7. Levy, however, trans: ‘May I not behold the eternal salvation
(ewige Heil) etc.’; and Rashi (Mak. 5b, the alternative explanation), interprets thus: He swore by the life of his children;
might he receive condolences on their passing (if etc.).
(6) Lit., ‘planning (evil)’. with reference to Deut. XIX, 19; hence the technical name for false witnesses whose evidence
has been refuted by other witnesses testifying that the former were with them at another place at the time of the crime, v.
Mak. 5a (Sonc. ed., p. 19f). If the Zomemim secure by their false testimony the conviction (but not the punishment) of
an innocent person, the Rabbis held them to be amenable to the law of retaliation; v. Deut. XIX, 21 and Mak. 5b (Sonc.
ed., p. 25).
(7) Lit., ‘in order to remove (the false opinion) from their heart’.
(8) V. the usual works of reference, and R. Leszynsky, Die Sadduzaer.
(9) V. Deut. XXV, 2-3 and Mak. 22af(Sonc. ed., p. 155f, and notes a.l).
(10) Each of the three punishments referred to is retaliatory, i.e., the Zomemim-witness had intended to secure a false
conviction involving the said penalty. The flogging of Zomemim-witnesses, however, may not always represent the
carrying out of the lex talionis: lashes were sometimes inflicted as a substitute penalty; cf. Mak. I, If.
(11) Who would correct him, if necessary.
(12) The text is idiomatically in the third person.
(13) I.e., Judah b. Tabbai.
(14) R. Aha's point is that the cessation of the voice on Judah b. Tabbai's death is no proof that it was his. For the
phenomenon might be explained in this way: whilst Judah was alive, the wrongfully executed man cried out his protest
from the grave; but when Judah b. Tabbai died he ceased to call either because he had been appeased by him, or because
he had now been able to summon him before the Heavenly Tribunal.
(15) I.e., the Baraitha about Judah b. Tabbai.
(16) Cf. the principle invoked against the youthful Samuel in Ber. 31b (Whoever decides a point of law in the presence
of his teacher deserves death). Cf. also J. Hag. II, 2 ed. 77d, where historical evidence is cited in favour of the view that
Judah b. Tammai was Prince, and also in support of the opposite opinion (Tosaf.).
(17) So Rashi; but Tosaf. explains that he undertook never to join in voting against R. Simeon b. Shetah's opinion.
According to either interpretation, the purpose of the answer is to show that Judah b. Tabbai could have been the Head
of the Court, for his vow did not imply that he ever gave or proposed to give a decision in the presence of his superior,
(18) V. p. 94 n. 3
(19) ,uca, lit., ‘rest, abstention from secular occupation’, hence, ‘an occupation, on the Sabbath and Festivals,
forbidden by the Rabbis as being out of harmony with the celebrations of the day’ (Jast.) Cf. Ex. X, 3, 15.
(20) V. Bez. V, 2. By laying on the hands on an animal with pressure, one ‘makes use of it’, and therefore infringes the
principle of Shebuth, just as much, as by riding on it, which is prohibited in the above Mishnah.
(21) I.e., Shebuth is clearly mentioned in the Mishnah; v. n. 3.
(22) Otherwise one might have thought that the importance of the religious act would override the prohibition of
(23) I.e., from the Mishnah; v. n.3
(24) V. Bez. 20a, where the opinion of R. Jose b. R. Judah is mentioned, viz., that the point of difference between
Shammai and Hillel is whether obligatory peace-offerings require laying on of hands, the view of Shammai being that
only freewill-offerings require it.
(25) Lit., ‘hear from it!’, i.e., from R. Johanan's statement, which makes Shebuth the ultimate point of dispute in the
(26) All should agree, therefore, to permit it on the holy day.
(27) Lev. I, 2-4.
(28) This, and not ‘R. Ishmael’, is the correct reading; cf. ‘Er. 96b, and R.H. 33a, etc.
(29) I.e., it is neither an obligatory precept (vcuj) nor a meritorious religious act (vumn), but a religiously
indifferent act which women are permitted to perform for their own gratification.
(30) V. Mid. II,5.
(31) So that they should feel that they have had a share, like men, in the sacrificial rites of their offering.
(32) Laying on the hands with all one's strength is work (cf. p. 108, n. 3), which must not be performed with animals
once they have been dedicated to the Temple. (Cf. Deut. XV, 19 and Bek. II, 2-3).
(33) Lit., ‘cause to float’.
(34) [MS. M.: ‘Thus he says not that the laying on of hands by women is deemed valid, since there was no laying on of
hands at all, but (the object was) to gratify the women’. A reading which is preferable to that of cur. edd. V. D.S.]
(35) V. p. 108, n. 8.
(36) Similarly of the sides of a tree etc.; v. Shab. 154b-155a, and p. 108, n. 3.
(37) [Rashi reads simply: ‘Let the hands be laid on’, i.e., since the head on which the laying on of the hands is done is
like the sides of the animal.]
(38) Actually, the laying on of the hands had to be performed on the side, i.e., of the head.
Talmud - Mas. Chagigah 17a
R. Ashi said: You may even say that it is permitted [to use] the sides,1 but all that is connected with
the back2 is as the back.3
MISHNAH; BETH SHAMMAI SAY: PEACE-OFFERINGS4 MAY BE BROUGHT [ON THE
FESTIVAL-DAY],5 AND THE HANDS NOT LAID THEREON;6 BUT NOT
BURNT-OFFERINGS!7 AND BETH HILLEL SAY: BOTH PEACE-OFFERINGS AND
BURNT-OFFERINGS MAY BE BROUGHT,8 AND THE HANDS LAID THEREON. IF THE
FESTIVAL OF WEEKS9 FELL ON A FRIDAY,10 BETH SHAMMAI SAY: THE DAY FOR
SLAUGHTER11 , IS AFTER THE SABBATH. AND BETH HILLEL SAY: THE DAY FOR
SLAUGHTER IS NOT AFTER THE SABBATH.12 THEY AGREE, HOWEVER, THAT IF IT
FALL ON THE SABBATH, THE DAY FOR SLAUGHTER IS AFTER THE SABBATH.13 THE
HIGH PRIEST DOES NOT [IN THAT CASE] PUT ON HIS [SPECIAL] ROBES,14 AND
MOURNING15 AND FASTING16 ARE PERMITTED, IN ORDER NOT TO CONFIRM THE
VIEW OF THOSE WHO SAY THAT THE FESTIVAL OF WEEKS [INVARIABLY] FOLLOWS
GEMARA. R. Eleazar said that R. Oshaia said: Whence is it to be deduced that [the offerings of]
the Feast of Weeks can be made good throughout seven days? It is said: On the Feast of Unleavened
Bread, and on the Feast of Weeks, and on the Feast of Tabernacles;18 thus [Scripture] compares the
Feast of Weeks with the Feast of Unleavened Bread: just as [the offerings of] the Feast of
Unleavened Bread can be made good throughout seven days,19 so too [the offerings of] the Feast of
Weeks can be made good throughout seven days. But let me say that [Scripture] compares [the Feast
of Weeks] to the Feast of Tabernacles; just as [the offerings of] the Feast of Tabernacles can be made
good throughout eight days, so too [the offerings of] the Feast of Weeks can be made good
throughout eight days! — The eighth day is a festival by itself.20 [But] is not21 the statement that the
eighth is a festival true only in regard to22 the Balloting [by the watches],23 [the recital of the
benediction of] the Season,24 [the name of] the Festival,25 [the prescribed number of] Sacrifices,26
the [Temple] Song,27 and the Blessing;28 but regarding the making good [of the offerings] it makes
good for the first [day of Tabernacles].29 For we have learnt: He who did not bring his festal offering
on the first festival day of the Feast, may bring it during the whole of the Festival even on the last
festival day!30 If you take hold of much, you do not hold it; but if you take hold of a little, you hold
it.31 For what legal instruction, then, did the Divine Law write [again here] the Feast of
Tabernacles?32 — To compare it with the Feast of Unleavened Bread: just as the Feast of
Unleavened Bread requires [the pilgrim] to stay the night [in Jerusalem], So too, the Feast of
Tabernacles requires [the pilgrim] to stay the night.33 And whence do we deduce it in the case of the
(1) As a matter of fact, R. Ashi holds the reverse view, i.e., he agrees with R. Papa (v. Shab. 155a); nevertheless he
shows here that the conclusion cannot be drawn from R. Johanan's statement (Tosaf.).
(2) I.e.,is parallel with the back, like the head.
(3) Which may not be made use of on holy days.
(4) I.e., festal-offerings and offerings of rejoicings (v. pp. 2, n. 3 and 30. n. 1 and Pes. 119a).
(5) Because they are required for food (v. p. 104, n. 12). V. Bez. 19af; there Tosaf. points out, is the original and proper
place of our passage, whereas here it is introduced only incidentally. The fuller discussion on the Mishnah found in Bez.
further tends to show that the latter tractate was complete before Hag. (Tosaf.).
(6) V. p. 104 and nn. 11,12. Since Beth Shammai held that the slaughtering of the animal need not necessarily follow
immediately upon the laying on of the hands, the latter rite could be performed on the eve of the Festival, and the former
on the Festival-day itself.
(7) I.e., the pilgrimage burnt-offerings; v. p. 2, n. 1. By emphasizing the expression ‘unto you’ in Ex. XII, 16, it was
deduced that only food for human needs could be prepared on the Festival, but not altar-food. Since burnt-offerings were
wholly consumed on the altar and no part reserved for human consumption (as in the case of the sacrifices), they could
not, according to the Shammaite view, be brought by individuals. The statutory public burnt-offerings, however, were
(8) For the reason v. Bez. 19a. The Hillelites agreed, however, that vow and freewill-offerings could not be offered up.
(9) Heb. ,rmg, lit., ‘(sacred) assembly’; v. p. 27, n. 3.
(10) Lit., ‘eve of Sabbath’.
(11) I.e., of the pilgrimage burnt-offerings, which, according to Beth Shammai, could not be offered up on the Festival
day and a fortiori on the Sabbath; hence the offering was postponed till Sunday, for the Pentecost sacrifices could be
offered throughout seven days in the same way as the Passover and Sukkoth offerings (v. pp. 111f and cf.pp.43f).
(12) But on the Festival day. Var. lec., ‘it has no day for slaughter’ (omitting the words, ‘after the Sabbath’); v. p. 113, n.
(13) No private offering, except the Passover sacrifice, could override the Sabbath.
(14) According to Rashi, this refers to his private festival garments worn by him at home and in the street; when people
would see the High Priest in his ordinary clothes, they would realize that the day was not, as the Sadducees maintained
(v. infra, n. 5) a holy day. But Tosaf. argues that the reference is to the High Priest's eight sacerdotal vestments, which he
wore on Festivals when he would officiate at the Temple service (v. Yoma VII, 5)’ and adduces the J.T. in support of
(15) Heb. spxv: for its exact signification v. S. Krauss, T.A. II, p. 68; cf. also Jast. and Levy, s.v.
(16) Both mourning and fasting are prohibited on a festival-day.
(17) I.e., the Sadducees, who understood the word ‘Sabbath’ in Lev. XXIII, 11, 15 literally, and hence maintained that
Pentecost must always fall on a Sunday, for it is written: ‘And ye shalt count unto you from the morrow after the
Sabbath . . . even unto the morrow after the seventh week shall ye number fifty days’ (Lev. XXIII, 15-16). But the
Pharisees explained the word ‘Sabbath’ to mean ‘day of rest’, i.e., ‘holy day’ (cf. Lev. XXIII, 32, 39; Ibn Ezra to v. 11
(ibid.) and Men. 65a), and referred it to the first festival day of Passover. This same controversy formed part of the
dispute between the Rabbanites and the Karaites some eight hundred years later.
(18) Deut. XVI, 16.
(19) Cf. pp. 43f.
(20) I.e., it does not form part of the Feast of Sukkoth.
(21) Lit., ‘say’.
(22) The following six points of difference are expressed in the original by the abbreviation c"ae r"zp, formed out
of the initials of the Hebrew words; v. fol. nn.
(23) xhhp; the ballot or allotment in regard to the Temple services decided by a show of fingers on the part of the
priests present; cf. Yoma II, 1f. Throughout the seven days of Sukkoth, the public sacrifices were offered up by the
priest-watches according to rota; but on the eighth day the offerings were allotted by ballot. (V. Suk. 55b).
(24) inz (cf. Eccl. III, 1): the blessing at the end of the benediction recited on the entrance of a festival, which refers to
the return of the festival season, viz., ‘Blessed art Thou, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, Who hast kept us alive,
sustained us, and enabled us to reach this season’. The recital of this blessing on the eighth day of Sukkoth distinguishes
it as an independent festival from the other days of Tabernacles. On the last day of Passover, on the other hand, it is not
said, because the seventh day is regarded as an integral part of the Feast of unleavened Bread. V. also n. 6.
(25) kdr ‘pilgrimage-festival’. Three explanations of the meaning of the term have been suggested (v. Tosaf. a.I.).
Rashi: It is a distinct festival in as much as it enjoys a special name, viz., Shemini ‘Azereth and not Sukkoth. R. Tam: It
is a separate festival in the sense that it requires the pilgrim to spend the night following its termination in Jerusalem
(Suk. 47a). R. Hananel: It is a separate festival in regard to the thirty days of semi-mourning for the dead. If the period of
mourning began on the eve of Sukkoth, it is able to annul seven days out of the thirty in addition to the fourteen
cancelled by the end of the first seven days of Tabernacles (cf. M.K. 24a).
(26) icre V. Num. XXIX, 12-38.
(27) rha: Tosaf. (s. v. r"zp) suggests that Ps. XII (note the caption) was said (cf. Sof. XIX and J.T.); and whereas the
Psalms allocated for the different weekdays of Tabernacles were not completed each day but spread over two days (v.
Suk. 55a), on the eighth day the psalm was completed.
(28) vfrc: according to Rashi, the people blessed the king on the eighth day, as it is written I Kings VIII, 66;
according to R. Tam (l.c.) this refers to the special mention of Shemini ‘Azereth in the Grace after meals and in the
‘Amidah (v. Glos.); cf. Suk. 47a.
(29) I.e., Shemini ‘Azereth is a continuation of Sukkoth, and if the private offerings due on the first could not be brought
till the eighth day, they may still be offered up then.
(30) V. p. 43. Since in regard to making good the offerings the eighth day is an essential part of Sukkoth, then the
question (p. 111). Why not compare Pentecost with Sukkoth instead of Passover, still stands.
(31) A popular proverb meaning that one can make sure of a little, but not of much, i.e., when one is confronted, as in
our case, with two possibilities, one greater than the other, the smaller should be chosen for safety, for it is bound to be
right in so far as it is included in the greater: thus we cannot go wrong by comparing Pentecost with the seven days of
Passover, but we may err in comparing it with the eight of Tabernacles. For the proverb cf. ‘every one who adds,
lessens’ (Talmud) and the French, ‘qui trop embrasse mal etreint’.
(32) If it is not to teach us about Pentecost, It seems superfluous, for it has already been mentioned elsewhere; and it is a
rule that nothing in the Torah is redundant.
(33) I.e., of the weekday of the Festival.
Talmud - Mas. Chagigah 17b
— It is written: And thou shalt turn in the morning, and go into thy tents. 1
We have learnt: IF THE FEAST OF WEEKS FALL ON A FRIDAY, BETH SHAMMAI SAY:
THE DAY FOR SLAUGHTER IS AFTER THE SABBATH. AND BETH HILLEL SAY: IT HAS
NO DAY FOR SLAUGHTER. Surely [this means] that it has no day for slaughter at all!2 — No, [it
means] that it does not require a [special] day for slaughter.3 But what then does it teach us, that we
can offer up [the sacrifice] on its proper day?4 Behold they already dispute thereon once; for we have
learnt: Beth Shammai say: Peace-offerings may be brought [on the Festival-day] and the hands not
laid thereon; but not burnt-offerings. And Beth Hillel say: Both peace-offerings and burnt-offerings
may be brought, and the hands laid thereon!5 — [Both statements are] required. For if [the Mishnah]
had taught us [only that they differ] in the [latter] case,6 [I might have thought] in that case [only]
Beth Shammai hold this view, because it is possible [to bring the offerings] on the following day: but
in the [former] case,7 I might have thought that they agreed with Beth Hillel.8 And if [the Mishnah]
had taught us [only that they differ] in the [former] case, [I might have thought] in this case [only]
Beth Hillel hold this view, because it is not possible [to bring the offering] on the following day; but
in the [latter] case, I might have thought that they agree with Beth Shammai.9 [Therefore both
statements are] required.
Come and hear: He who does not bring his festal-offering during the seven days of Passover, or
the eight days of Tabernacles, or on the first10 festival-day of the Feast of Weeks, can no longer
bring his offering. This must surely mean on the festival-day [proper] of the Feast of Weeks!11 —
No, [it means] on the day for the slaughter.12 If so, let us conclude therefrom that there is [only] one
day for slaughter!13 — Read, ‘on the days for slaughter’14
Come and hear: Rabbah b. Samuel learnt: Count the days,15 and sanctify the New Moon Day;16
Count the days,17 and sanctity the Feast of Weeks.18 Just as the New Moon Festival belongs to its
class [of days] by which it is determined,19 so the Feast of Weeks belongs to its class20 by which it is
determined. Surely [then the Feast of Weeks] is compared with the New Moon Festival because just
as [the offerings of] the New Moon Festival [are to brought] on one day, so too [the offerings of] the
Feast of Weeks [are to be brought] on one day!21 — Raba answered: How can you think so? Do we
then count for the Feast of Weeks [only] the days and not the weeks? Behold Abaye said: It is a
precept to count the days,22 for it is written: Ye shall number fifty days;23 and it is a precept to count
the weeks,24 for it is written: Seven weeks shalt thou number unto thee.25 Furthermore, it is written:
The Feast of Weeks.26
The School of R. Eleazar b. Jacob taught:27 Scripture says: And ye shall make proclamation,28 and
And when ye reap.29 Which is the Feast on which you proclaim and reap? You must say: It is the
Feast of Weeks.30 [Now] when? Should one say on the Festival-day [itself], is reaping then permitted
on the Festival-day! It must refer, therefore, to [the period after the Feast] when the offerings can
still be made good.31
Now although the statement of R. Eleazar in the name of R. Oshaia has been quoted,32 [the
teaching] of R. Eliezer b. Jacob is also required. For if we had [only] the statement of R. Eleazar in
the name of R. Oshaia, I might say: Just as [in the period] during which the offering can be made
good in the case of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, it is forbidden to do work,33 so too [in the period]
during which the offering can be made good in the case of the Feast of Weeks, it is forbidden to do
work; therefore we are told the teaching of R. Eliezer b. Jacob. And if we had [only] the teaching of
R. Eliezer b. Jacob
(1) Deut. XVI, 7. But the preceding night must be spent in Jerusalem.
(2) I.e.,if the sacrifice was not offered up on the festival-day. it cannot be made good later. This contradicts R. Oshaia's
statement, p. 111.
(3) Since the offering can be brought on the festival-day; but actually the offering can be made good throughout seven
days, as R. Oshaia taught.
(4) I.e., on the festival itself, that is, according to Beth Hillel.
(5) In view of this statement of the point at issue between Beth Shammai and Beth Hillel at the beginning of the
Mishnah, why does the Mishnah teach us later that they differ in regard to Pentecost which fell on a Friday, if the point
of dispute, according to the interpretation just given, is exactly the same?
(6) I.e., where a Festival does not fall on a Friday.
(7) I.e., where Pentecost falls on a Friday.
(8) Because, since the sacrifice could not be offered up the following day, which was the Sabbath, and consequently
would have to be left over till the Sunday, there was the danger that the pilgrim might neglect to bring it altogether.
(9) Because it was possible to bring the offering the following day, and negligence, therefore, need not be feared.
(10) [Omitted in MS.M.]
(11) Thus the offerings of Pentecost cannot be made good after the festival, which refutes R. Oshaia.
(12) The festival sacrifices, therefore, can be made good on the day for slaughter; thus the objection against R. Oshaia's
statement falls away.
(13) Whereas R. Oshaia argued that the Pentecost sacrifices could be made good throughout seven days.
(14) The plural could include seven days.
(15) The Torah nowhere actually enjoins the counting of the days of each month: the expression is an instance of
Midrashic licence. The Hebrew months, being lunar, vary in length from twenty-nine to thirty days (v. J.E. s. Calendar).
(16) By the offering of ‘additional sacrifices’ (v. Num. XXVIII, 11-15).
(17) I.e., fifty, v. infra, n. 8.
(18) By offering the festival sacrifices.
(19) Lit., ‘belongs to its numbered ones, i.e., it is determined by numbering units of days, on one of which it falls.
(20) I.e., the period during which the festival sacrifices can be brought is equal to the class or unit by which it is
determined. If the latter is a week, the sacrificial-period is a week; if it is a day, the offering-period is also a day; cf.R.H.,
Sonc.ed., p. 14, nn. 10 and 11.
(21) This would contradict the view that the Pentecost sacrifices can be made good the whole week.
(22) In order that we may sanctify the Feast of Weeks on the fiftieth day (Tosaf.).
(23) Lev. XXIII, 16.
(24) To teach us that the period in which the festival sacrifices may be made good is a full week.
(25) Deut. XVI, 9.
(26) Ibid. v. 10.
(27) I.e., derived the post-festal sacrificial period of the Feast of Weeks in the following way.
(28) Lev. XXIII, 21. I.e., proclaim a holy convocation or festival.
(29) Ibid, v. 22.
(30) To which the Biblical passage refers.
(31) Which supports R. Oshaia.
(32) V. p. 111.
(33) For the prohibition of work during the mid-festival period, v. infra and pp. 117f.
Talmud - Mas. Chagigah 18a
, I would not know how many [days];1 therefore we are told the statement of R. Eleazar In the name
of R. Oshaia.
Resh Lakish said: [It is written]: And the Feast of Harvest.2 Which is the Feast on which you feast
and harvest? You must say: It is the Feast of Weeks. [Now] when? Should one say on the
festival-day [itself]? Is reaping then permitted on the festival-day? It must refer, therefore, to [the
period after the Feast] when the offerings can still be made good. Said R. Johanan [to him]: Now
accordingly, [since it is written], the Feast of Ingathering3 [one can likewise argue thus]: ‘Which is
the Feast on which there is ingathering? You must say: It is the Feast of Tabernacles. When? Should
one say on the festival-day [itself]. is work then permitted on a festival-day! It must refer, therefore,
to the mid-festival days’.4 But is [work] then permitted on the mid-festival days? It must mean,
therefore, the Feast that comes at the season of ingathering. Similarly here [it means] the Feast that
comes at the season of reaping.5
It follows therefore that both6 are of the opinion that on the mid-festival days it is forbidden to do
work. Whence is this derived? — For our Rabbis taught: The Feast of Unleavened Bread shalt thou
keep; seven days.7 This teaches concerning the mid-festival days that work thereon is forbidden:8
this is the view of R. Josiah. R. Jonathan says: This is unnecessary.9 [It can be proved by] an
argument a minore ad majus. If on the first and seventh days, which have no sanctity10 before or
after them, work is forbidden, how much more so is it right that work should be forbidden on the
mid-festival days, which have sanctity before and after them. — But the six working days11
disprove12 [this argument] for they have sanctity13 before them and after them, and yet work thereon
is permitted! — [No], whereas [this applies] to the six working days which have no additional
sacrifice, can you say [the same] of the mid-festival days which have an additional sacrifice?14 —
But the New Moon Day disproves this [argument]; for it has additional sacrifices, and yet work
thereon is permitted! — [No], whereas [this applies] to the New Moon Day which is not called a
‘holy convocation’, can you say [the same] of the mid-festival days which are called ‘holy
convocation’?15 Since it is called ‘holy convocation’ it is only right that work thereon should be
Another [Baraitha] taught: Ye shall do no matter of servile work16 — this teaches that it is
forbidden to do work on mid-festival days:17 this is the view of R. Jose the Galilean. R. Akiba says:
This is unnecessary. It is said: These are the appointed seasons of the Lord, etc.18 Whereof does the
verse speak? If of the first day, behold it has already been said: Solemn rest.19 If of the seventh
day,20 behold, it has already been said: Solemn rest.21 The verse, therefore, must speak only of the
mid-festival days, to teach thee that it is forbidden to do work thereon.
Another [Baraitha] taught: Six days thou shalt eat unleavened bread; and on the seventh day shall
be restraint [of work]22 unto to the Lord.23 Just as the seventh day is under restraint [in respect of
work],24 so the six days are under restraint [in respect of work] — If [you should think that] just as
the seventh day is under restraint in respect of all manner of work, so the six days are under restraint
in respect of all manner of work; therefore Scripture teaches: ‘And on the seventh day shall be
restraint [of work]’ — only the seventh day is under restraint in respect of all manner of work, but
the six days are not under restraint in respect of all manner of work. Thus Scripture left it to the
Sages25 to tell you on which day [work] is forbidden, and on which day it is permitted;26 which
manner of work is forbidden, and which is permitted.27
AND MOURNING AND FASTING ARE PERMITTED, IN ORDER NOT TO CONFIRM THE
VIEW OF THOSE WHO SAY THAT THE FESTIVAL OF WEEKS [INVARIABLY] FOLLOWS
THE SABBATH: But behold it is taught:28 It happened that Alexa29 died at Lod, and all Israel
assembled to mourn for him, but R. Tarfon did not permit them, because it was the festival-day of
the Feast of Weeks. [Now] can you possibly suppose that it was [actually] the festival day? How
could they come on the festival-day? You must say, therefore, because it was the day for slaughter!30
— There is no contradiction: in the one case,31 the festival-day [of the Feast of Weeks] fell after the
Sabbath;32 in the other case,33 the festival-day fell on the Sabbath.34
(1) Sc. are allowed for making good the offerings of the Feast of Weeks.
(2) Ex. XXIII, 16.
(3) Ibid. and XXXIV, 22.
(4) Lit., ‘the profane part of the festival’, i.e., the six half-festive days between the first day of Tabernacles, which is a
festival-day proper, and the Eighth Day of Solemn Assembly, which is likewise a festival-day. The same term applies
also to the five intermediate days of Passover. This period would correspond to that after the Feast of Weeks when the
offerings can still be made good.
(5) And not, as Resh Lakish would have it, a festival time at which feasting and reaping are combined.
(6) Since Resh Lakish does not object to R. Johanan's statement regarding the prohibition of work on the mid-festival
days, it follows that he must agree.
(7) Ex. XXIII, 15.
(8) ‘Keep’ is taken invariably to imply prohibition of work. By connecting the words ‘seven days’ with the verb ‘keep’,
the prohibition is extended to the mid-festival days.
(9) I.e.,the verse is not needed for the proof.
(10) I.e., holy days.
(11) Lit., ‘six days of the beginning of (creation)’; cf Ex. XX, 9-11.
(12) Lit., ‘prove’ sc. the contrary.
(13) I.e., the Sabbath.
(14) V. Num. XXVIII, 19-24, and XXIX, 13-16.
(15) V. Lev. XXIII, and Num. XXVIII and XXIX. ‘Holy’ implies the prohibition of work.
(16) Lev. XXIII, 7.
(17) This teaching is deduced by connecting the end of v. 7 with the words ‘seven days’ in the following verse.
(18) Ibid. v. 4 and 37.
(19) Lev. XXIII, v. 39.
(20) V. next note. The reading should be emended to the ‘eighth day’ (v. R. Hananel a.I.), for nowhere is the term
‘solemn rest’ applied to the seventh day of a festival.
(22) E.V. ‘a solemn assembly’!
(23) Deut. XVI, 8.
(24) For the verse concludes: ‘Thou shalt do no work therein’.
(25) I.e., since the verse indicates only that the prohibition of work does not apply uniformly to all the days of the
festival, it must be the intention of Scripture to let the Sages decide how the prohibition did apply.
(26) I. e., which day is a festival day proper, and which only a mid-festival day. For the fixing of the calendar, V. J.E.
vol. III, pp. 498f.
(27) I.e., on mid-festival days: work which could not be postponed without incurring irretrievable loss was permitted.
(28) This is the correct reading viz.,thb,vu (‘it is taught’ by the Tannaim), not rn,htvu (‘it is stated’ by the
(29) Abbreviated form of the name Alexander. (12) Lydda in South Palestine (Roman name, Diospolis).
(30) Thus R. Tarfon forbade mourning on the slaughtering day, which contradicts the Mishnah.
(31) I.e., the case of Alexa.
(32) I.e., in the middle of the week, so that the slaughtering day was not on a Sunday. Mourning, therefore, was
prohibited in accordance with regular Jewish law.
(33) I.e., that of the Mishnah.
(34) Consequently the slaughtering day was on a Sunday, and, therefore, as a demonstration against the erroneous view
of the Sadducees, the ordinary rule prohibiting mourning on the slaughtering day was waived.
Talmud - Mas. Chagigah 18b
MISHNAH. THE HANDS HAVE TO BE RINSED1 FOR [EATING] UNCONSECRATED
[FOOD],2 AND [SECOND] TITHE,3 AND FOR TERUMAH [HEAVE-OFFERING];4 BUT FOR
HALLOWED THINGS5 [THE HANDS] HAVE TO BE IMMERSED.6 IN REGARD TO THE
[WATER OF] PURIFICATION,7 IF ONE'S HANDS BECAME DEFILED, ONE'S [WHOLE]
BODY IS DEEMED DEFILED.8 IF ONE BATHED9 FOR UNCONSECRATED [FOOD], AND
INTENDED TO BE RENDERED FIT SOLELY10 FOR UNCONSECRATED [FOOD], ONE IS
PROHIBITED FROM [PARTAKING OF SECOND] TITHE.11 IF ONE BATHED FOR [SECOND]
TITHE, AND INTENDED TO BE RENDERED FIT SOLELY FOR [SECOND] TITHE, ONE IS
PROHIBITED FROM [PARTAKING OF] TERUMAH. IF ONE BATHED FOR TERUMAH, AND
INTENDED TO BE RENDERED FIT SOLELY FOR TERUMAH, ONE IS PROHIBITED FROM
[PARTAKING OF] HALLOWED THINGS. IF ONE BATHED FOR HALLOWED THINGS, AND
INTENDED TO BE RENDERED FIT SOLELY FOR HALLOWED THINGS ONE IS
PROHIBITED FROM [TOUCHING THE WATERS OF] PURIFICATION. IF ONE BATHED FOR
SOMETHING POSSESSING A STRICTER [DEGREE OF SANCTITY], ONE IS PERMITTED
[TO HAVE CONTACT WITH] SOMETHING POSSESSING A LIGHTER [DEGREE OF
SANCTITY]. IF ONE BATHED BUT WITHOUT SPECIAL INTENTION,12 IT IS AS THOUGH
ONE HAD NOT BATHED. THE GARMENTS OF AN AM HA-AREZ13 POSSESS MIDRAS14
-UNCLEANNESS FOR PHARISEES;15 THE GARMENTS OF PHARISEES POSSESS
MIDRAS-UNCLEANNESS FOR THOSE WHO EAT TERUMAH; THE GARMENTS OF THOSE
WHO EAT TERUMAH POSSESS MIDRAS-UNCLEANNESS FOR [THOSE WHO EAT]
HALLOWED THINGS; THE GARMENTS OF [THOSE
it yet does not render the person fit to eat food possessing any degree of sanctity. Similarly, in the
cases that follow, intention for one degree of sanctity does not enable one to partake of food having a
higher degree of sanctity. WHO EAT] HALLOWED THINGS POSSESS MIDRAS —
UNCLEANNESS FOR [THOSE WHO OCCUPY THEMSELVES WITH THE WATERS OF]
PURIFICATION. JOSE B. JO'EZER16 WAS THE MOST PIOUS IN THE PRIESTHOOD, YET
HIS APRON WAS [CONSIDERED TO POSSESS] MIDRAS-UNCLEANNESS FOR [THOSE
WHO ATE] HALLOWED THINGS. JOHANAN B. GUDGADA USED ALL HIS LIFE TO EAT
[UNCONSECRATED FOOD] IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PURITY REQUIRED FOR
HALLOWED THINGS, YET HIS APRON WAS [CONSIDERED TO POSSESS]
MIDRAS-UNCLEANNESS FOR [THOSE WHO OCCUPIED THEMSELVES WITH THE
WATER OF] PURIFICATION.
GEMARA. Do unconsecrated food and [Second] Tithe then require rinsing of the hands? Now we
can show this to conflict with [the following Mishnah]: For terumah and first fruits17 one may incur
the penalty of death,18 or [a fine of] an [added] fifth,19 and they are prohibited to non-priests20 and
they are the property of the priest,21 and are neutralized in one hundred and one [parts],22 and
require rinsing of the hands,23 and sunset;24 these [rules] apply to terumah and first fruits but not to
[Second] Tithe.25 How much less then to unconsecrated food. Thus there is a contradiction in regard
to [Second] Tithe and a contradiction also in regard to unconsecrated food! Granted that in regard to
[Second] Tithe [it can be shown that] there is no contradiction: the one [Mishnah]26 is according to
R. Meir and the other is according to the Rabbis. For we have learnt: Whosoever requires immersion
by enactment of the Scribes27 defiles hallowed things28 and invalidates terumah,29 but is permitted30
[to eat] unconsecrated food and [Second] Tithe — this is the view of R. Meir; but the Sages prohibit
in the case of [Second] Tithe. In regard to unconsecrated food, however, there is a contradiction! —
There is no contradiction: the one case31 refers to eating [unconsecrated food] and the other to
touching [it]. To this R. Shimi b. Ashi demurred: The Rabbis differ from R. Meir only in regard to
the eating of [Second] Tithe, but in regard to the touching of [Second] Tithe and the eating of
unconsecrated food they do not differ!32 — Both [Mishnahs], therefore, must refer to eating; but
there is no contradiction: the one33 refers to the eating of bread, the other34 refers to the eating of
fruit. For R. Nahman said: Whosoever rinses his hands for fruit belongs to the haughty of spirit.35
Our Rabbis taught: He who raises his hands, if he did so with intention,36 his hands are
[levitically] clean; but if he did so without intention, his hands are unclean. Similarly one who
bathes37 his hands, if he did so with intention, his hands are clean, but if he did so without intention
his hands are unclean. — But behold it is taught: Whether he did it with intention or without
intention, his hands are clean! — R. Nahman answered: There is no contradiction: the one
[statement]38 refers to unconsecrated food,
(1) I.e., in the manner prescribed in Yad. I, 1. Lit., ‘take for the hands’, an elliptical phrase for ‘take water for the hands’.
(2) As opposed to tithe etc.; cf. p. 35, n. 6.
(3) V. p. 35, n. 8.
(4) V. Glos.
(5) I.e., such as are offered in the Temple, and if not wholly devoted to the altar, have to be eaten in the Temple Court.
(6) I.e., in a valid immersion pool (Mikweh) containing not less than forty se'ahs of undrawn water (cf. Trac.
(7) V. Num. VIII, 7 (A.V. ‘purifying’; R.V. ‘expiation’) and ibid. XIX.
(8) In regard to lesser degrees of sanctity, it is possible for the hands only to become defiled e.g., by touching unclean
food etc.; but in this case the whole body would require ritual immersion.
(9) V. n. 11.
(10) The clause, ‘and intended . . . solely’ translates only one Heb. word ezjuv , denom. of vezj (v. Dictionaries) =
lit., ‘presumed or considered himself (to have taken the ritual bath) etc.’
(11) Actually, unconsecrated food does not require ritual immersion, unless one desires to eat it in purity, and even so
the immersion does not require intention’; but even if there is definite intention to eat ordinary food in purity,
(12) I.e., merely for the sake of physical cleanliness: such an immersion does not fit one for any sanctified food.
(13) Lit., ‘people of the land’, hence generally ‘illiterate, ignorant’, (opp. to Talmid Hakam1, ‘a disciple of the wise’).
Here it is used in a technical sense, and refers to one who is ignorant of the Torah and fails to observe the laws of purity
and impurity, and is not scrupulous in setting aside the tithes from his produce (opp. to Haber, ‘an associate’, who
strictly observes the Law). V. Glos.
(14) Lit., ‘place of treading or pressure’, denotes levitical impurity arising in an object from contact with gonorrhoeist
who sits, lies, rides upon or leans against it; in general= vtnuyv ct, the first degree of impurity. V. Lev. XII, 2;
XV, 2-25; and cf. Nid. VI, 3 with explan. ibid. 49b. The reason for this Rabbinic enactment is the fear that the wife of
the Am ha-arez may have sat on the garments when she was in a menstruous condition. V. Hul. 35 (and infra 19b. Tosaf.
s. hsdc ).
(15) Those who strictly observe the Mosaic Law and the Rabbinic regulations, particularly in regard to tithing and
purity. To their body belong also the Haberim (Associates); v. Mishnah Dem. II, 3, and Moore III, 26. For further
information, v. J.E. vol. IX, pp. 661f, and R. T. Herford's ‘The Pharisees’.
(16) V. Aboth I, 4 (Sonc. ed., p. 3, nn. 4-6).
(17) Deut. XXVI, 1ff. For the analogy between terumah and first fruits v. Mak. 17a (Sonc. ed., pp. 121-2).
(18) I.e., if a non-priest eats thereof of set purpose; v. Lev. XXII, 9, 10, the context of which refers particularly to
terumah. Cf. also Hul. I, 9.
(19) I.e., if a non-priest eats thereof in error he must not only pay the value of the amount consumed but must also add
thereto a fifth of the value by way of fine; v. ibid. v. 14. This fifth is not analogous to the added fifth that must be paid in
redeeming Second Tithe in order that the produce may be eaten outside Jerusalem and the redemption money spent in
food and drink in Jerusalem: hence the Mishnah excludes Second Tithe from all these rules.
(20) I.e., by a prohibitory law of the Torah.
(21) I.e., he may sell them and purchase with the money whatever he desires, e.g., land, slaves, unclean animals etc.; or
he may betroth a woman therewith.
(22) E.g., if one se'ah of terumah fell into one hundred se'ahs of unconsecrated produce making one hundred and one in
all, any one se'ah may be taken out and given to a priest and the rest is permitted to a non-priest. But if there are not at
least one hundred se'ahs of terumah the whole produce becomes prohibited to non-priests.
(23) The hands are considered, by Rabbinic enactment, to suffer levitical impurity in the second degree, and therefore,
unless washed, can invalidate terumah by defiling it with impurity in the third degree.
(24) If a priest became unclean through some defilement mentioned in the Torah, he not only requires ritual immersion,
but he must also wait till sunset before he may partake of terumah. V. Yeb. 74b.
(25) Here the Mishnah ends, excluding explicitly from the above rules, which include the rinsing of the hands, Second
Tithe and also by obvious implication — as the Gemara goes on to point out — ordinary food.
(26) I.e., the latter.
(27) I.e., although ritually clean from the point of view of the Biblical law. This category includes those who eat or drink
what is unclean; vessels that have touched unclean liquids; and the hands: these are all unclean in the second degree. V.
Zab. V, 12 and Shab. 14b.
(28) Being impure in the second degree he is able to impart impurity to hallowed things in the third degree: in turn the
hallowed things are capable of disqualifying in the fourth degree.
(29) The terumah becomes itself disqualified but cannot disqualify anything else.
(30) This positive expression (as opposed to the negative formula ‘but does not disqualify’) implies permission to eat as
well as touch,
(31) I.e., our Mishnah, which requires rinsing of the hands for ordinary food.
(32) V. supra, n. 6; similarly the phrase, ‘but the Sages prohibit’, refers only to eating Second Tithe but not to touching
it. But regarding unconsecrated food there is no dispute: even the Sages agree that it may be eaten without rinsing of the
hands. The original question, therefore, remains: the Mishnahs contradict one another!
(33) Our own Mishnah, which requires rinsing of the hands for unconsecrated food.
(34) The second Mishnah quoted, which excepts Second Tithe (and consequently unconsecrated food) from rinsing of
the hands and the other regulations applying to terumah and first fruits.
(35) I.e.,is affectedly or ostentatiously scrupulous.
(36) Cf. our Mishnah p. 120, n. 1.
(37) I.e., in a ritual bath containing at least forty se'ahs of water: this represents a higher degree of purification.
(38) I.e., the second Baraitha, which does not require intention.
Talmud - Mas. Chagigah 19a
the other to [Second] Tithe. — And whence do you infer that unconsecrated food does not require
intention?1 — For we have learnt: If a wave was sundered [from the sea] and contained forty se'ahs2
and it fell upon a person or upon vessels [that were unclean], they become clean. Thus a person is
likened to vessels: just as vessels have no intention3 so too [the Mishnah] speaks of a person who
had no intention. But why so? Perhaps we are dealing with a case where one was sitting and waiting
for the wave to become sundered, and so vessels are likened to a person; just as a person is capable
of intention, so too in the case of the vessels one had intention with regard to them! And should you
say: If it is a case of one who sits and waits [for the wave to be sundered], what need is there to teach
it?4 [I will answer]: You might have thought it should be prohibited, as a preventive measure, [to
bathe in a detached wave] lest one come to battle in a torrent of rainwater,5 or that we ought to
prohibit, as a preventive measure, [immersion in] the ends6 [of the wave] on account of the crest,7
therefore [the Mishnah] teaches us that we make no such prohibition. — (And whence do you infer
that one may not immerse [vessels] in the crest [of the wave]? — For it is taught: One may immerse
[vessels] in the ends [of the wave] but not in the crest, because one may not immerse in the air.)8 —
Rather [is it9 to be inferred] from that which we have learnt: If produce fell into a channel of water,
and one whose hands were unclean put out [his hands] and took it, his hands became clean10 and [the
law], if [water] be put on,11 does not apply to the produce;12 but if [he did so] in order that13 his
hands should be rinsed, his hands become clean, but [the law], ‘If [water] be put on’, applies to the
Rabbah15 put an objection to R. Nahman: IF ONE BATHED FOR UNCONSECRATED [FOOD],
AND INTENDED TO BE RENDERED FIT SOLELY FOR UNCONSECRATED [FOOD], ONE IS
PROHIBITED FROM [PARTAKING OF SECOND] TITHE.16 [Thus] if one intended to be
rendered fit [therefor], One may [eat unconsecrated food], but if one did not intend to be rendered fit
[therefor], one may not [eat unconsecrated food]!17 — This is the meaning: Even though one had
intention for unconsecrated, one is still prohibited from [partaking of Second] Tithe. 18
He put [another] objection to him: IF ONE BATHED, BUT WITHOUT SPECIAL INTENTION,
IT IS AS THOUGH ONE HAD NOT BATHED. Surely it means that he is as though he had not
bathed at all!19 — No, [it means that] he is as though he had not bathed for [Second] Tithe, but did
bathe for unconsecrated food. He20 thought [at first] that he21 was merely putting him off,22 [but] he
went forth, examined [the matter] and found that it is taught: If one bathed, but without special
intention, one is prohibited [from partaking of Second] Tithe, but one is permitted [to partake of]
R. Eleazar said: If a man bathed and came up,23 he may intend to be rendered fit for whatever he
pleases. An objection was raised: If he still has one foot in the water, and he had intended to be
rendered fit for something of lesser [sanctity], he may intend to be rendered fit for something of
higher [sanctity]; but once he has come up he can no longer have intention. Surely [it means that] he
can no longer have any intention at all!24 — No, [it means that] if he still [has one foot in the water]
even though he intended to render himself fit [for a lesser degree of sanctity], he may still intend to
render himself [fit for a higher degree of sanctity];25 but once he has come up, if he had no intention
to be rendered fit [for anything at all], he may now intend to be rendered fit, but if he had intention to
be rendered fit [for any particular degree of sanctity] he may no longer intend to be rendered fit [for
any higher degree of sanctity].26 — Who is the author of the teaching: ‘If he still has one foot in the
water etc.’?27 R. Pedath said: It is according to R. Judah. For we have learnt: If an immersion pool
was measured and found to contain exactly forty se'ahs [of water], and two persons went down and
immersed themselves therein one after the other, the first person is clean, but the second is unclean. 28
R. Judah said: If the feet of the first person were [still] touching the water [when the second person
immersed himself] the second person is also clean.29 R. Nahman said that Rabbi b. Abbuha said: The
dispute30 concerns [only] the Rabbinical degrees [of purity],31 but in a case of purification from
[real] uncleanness,32 all would agree that the second person remains unclean. This then is in
agreement with the view of R. Pedath.33 Another version is: R. Nahman said that Rabbi b. Abbuha
said: The dispute concerns purification from [real] uncleanness, but in regard to the Rabbinical
degrees [of purity], all would agree that the second person too becomes clean. Thus he differs from
the view of R. Pedath.34
‘Ulla said: I asked R. Johanan: According to R. Judah, is it permissible to immerse needles and
hooks in the [wet] head of the first [bather]?35 Does R. Judah accept [only] the principle of
connecting downward,36 but not of connecting upward;37 or, perhaps, R. Judah accepts the principle
of connecting upward as well? — He replied: Ye have learnt it; If a wady has three depressions, one
at the top, one at the bottom and one in the middle, the one at the top and the one at the bottom
containing twenty se'ahs each and the middle one forty se'ahs, and a torrent of rainwater passes
between them,38 R. Judah says: Meir used to say: One may immerse in the top one.39
(1) On immersion.
(2) The minimum quantity required for ritual immersion. For se'ah, v. Glos.
(3) On being immersed.
(4) I.e., since the immersion was intentional, the case is ritually quite normal and requires no specific mention.
(5) Rashi gives two reasons for the unsuitability of a torrent of rainwater, containing forty se'ahs, for ritual immersion;
(a) since the water flows down a steep incline, the forty se'ahs cannot be regarded as being in one place or connected (v.
Toh. VIII, 9), and consequently the bather does not immerse himself in forty se'ahs of water at one and the same time;
(b) rain-water can be used for immersion only in the form of a stagnant pool but not when it forms a flowing current (v.
Supra to Lev. XI, 36).
(6) Lit., ‘heads’ i.e., the lower part of the wave as it reaches the ground.
(7) Lit., ‘arches, bows’ i.e., caps of a wave, billow-crests, surf.
(8) Though the ends of the wave have touched the ground, the crest of the wave is regarded as still being suspended in
the air, and consequently may not be used for immersion, for no immersion may take place in the air.
(9) That no intention is required for unconsecrated food.
(10) Though the person's intention was solely to take out the produce and not to purify the hands. Thus it is seen that
unconsecrated food does not require intention.
(11) Lev. XI, 38.
(12) I.e., the produce does not become, through contact with the water, susceptible to defilement in accordance with law
referred to in the verse. Only when the owner is pleased with the wetting of the produce does it become susceptible to
defilement (v. Kid. 59b), which is not the case here. The Mishnah text (Maksh. IV, 7) reads ‘are clean’ for ‘the law, "If
water be put on ",does not apply to the produce’.
(13) The Mishnah text reads: ‘he purposed, intended’ for ‘in order that’.
(14) Since he took the produce out of the water with the purpose of cleansing his hands, it is clear that he is pleased with
the wetting of the produce, for he benefits by it; consequently, the produce becomes susceptible henceforward to
(15) Var. lec. Raba.
(16) The Hebrew here is identical with the Mishnayoth version, which differs very slightly from our own Mishnah
(17) This shows, apparently, that intention is required even for unconsecrated food.
(18) But actually unconsecrated food does not require intention.
(19) I.e., he is not rendered fit even for unconsecrated food.
(20) I.e., Rabbah.
(21) I.e., R. Nahman.
(22) I.e., with casuistical arguments, which, in point of fact, were untrue.
(23) I.e., left the water completely. Some texts known to Tosaf. actually added the words, ‘and is still wet’; but in any
case it has to be understood in this sense.
(24) I.e., no new intention of his is of any effect.
(25) I.e., he may now decide for which degree of sanctity he wishes the immersion to serve.
(26) For with the completion of immersion the first intention becomes effective.
(27) V. p. 125 (end).
(28) Inevitably some water clings to the body of the first bather; consequently the second bather immerses himself in less
than the prescribed minimum of forty se'ahs of water.
(29) On the principle that the water connects downward’ (v. p. 127. n. 2), i.e., since the feet of the first bather are still in
the immersion pool, the water on his body is regarded as forming part of the water in the pool, thus helping to restore the
required volume of forty se'ahs.
(30) I.e., between R. Judah and the Rabbis.
(31) E.g., the specific degrees of purity discussed in our Mishnah.
(32) I.e., defilement according to the law of the Torah.
(33) Who explains the Baraitha, ‘If he still has one foot etc.’ to be according to R. Judah and not the Rabbis: thus he
holds that the Rabbis reject the principle of ‘connecting downward’ even in regard to the Rabbinical degrees of purity,
for the whole question of intention in regard to any specific degree of purity is based on Rabbinic enactment.
(34) For according to R. Nahman, the Baraitha ‘If he still has one foot etc.’, represents the view of the Rabbis as well as
of R. Judah, for he holds that in regard to the Rabbinical degrees of purity, the Rabbis agree with R. Judah in accepting
the principle of ‘connecting downward’.
(35) Whilst he is still in the water.
(36) Lit., ‘stretch, bring down’.
(37) I.e., does R. Judah accept the principle of connecting only in the downward direction, as in the case of the two
bathers above, where the water on the body of the first bather is regarded as connected with the water in the pool; but not
in the upward direction, so that the water in the pool should be considered as connected with the water on the bather's
head, and thus enable needles etc. to be purified in the water clinging to the bather's head.
(38) Thus connecting them.
(39) And, of course, in the bottom one; for those who hold the principle of ‘connecting upward’, certainly accept the
principle of ‘connecting downward’. Since R. Judah quoted R. Meir s view without contradicting it, the presumption is
that he concurs in it. This explanation follows Rashi's text and interpretation. For a different reading and explanation v.
Tosaf. s. hcr
Talmud - Mas. Chagigah 19b
— But it is taught: R. Judah said: Meir used to say: One may immerse in the top one, but I say: [One
may immerse only] in the bottom one, but not in the top one! He1 replied: If it is [expressly] taught,
it is taught.2
IF ONE BATHED FOR UNCONSECRATED [FOOD] AND INTENDED TO BE RENDERED
FIT SOLELY FOR UNCONSECRATED [FOOD] etc. According to whom will our Mishnah be? —
[Presumably] it is according to the Rabbis, who distinguish between unconsecrated [food] and
[Second] Tithe.3 — But [then] how will you understand the second part [of the Mishnah]? THE
GARMENTS OF AN ‘AM HA-AREZ POSSESS MIDRAS-UNCLEANNESS FOR PHARISEES;
THE GARMENTS OF PHARISEES POSSESS MIDRAS-UNCLEANNESS FOR THOSE WHO
EAT TERUMAH:4 this will be according to R. Meir, who said that unconsecrated [food] and
[Second] Tithe are [in this respect] the same. Thus the first part [of the Mishnah] will be according to
the Rabbis and the second part according to R. Meir! — Indeed, the first part [of the Mishnah] is
according to the Rabbis and the second part according to R. Meir. R. Aha b. Adda teaches [also] in
the second part [of the Mishnah] five degrees5 and attributes it all to the Rabbis. R. Mari said: It
follows that unconsecrated [food] which was prepared according to the purity of hallowed things6 is
like hallowed things. Whence [is this to be inferred]? —
(1) I.e., R. Johanan.
(2) I.e., I am prepared to retract.
(3) V. p. 122 (‘For we have learnt: Whosoever requires. . . Tithe’).
(4) But not Second Tithe, which shows that it belongs to the same category as unconsecrated food.
(5) I.e., he adds those who eat Second Tithe, as representing a separate degree of purity, in between the Pharisees and
those who eat terumah.
(6) A person who is accustomed to eat hallowed things would make it a rule to eat even unconsecrated food according to
the purity required by hallowed things, so that his household should be well-trained in the vigilance necessary for the
higher degree of purity.
Talmud - Mas. Chagigah 20a
From the fact that [the Mishnah] does not teach it as a [special] degree [of purity].1 — But perhaps
the reason why [the Mishnah] does not teach it as a [special] degree of purity is because if it is like
terumah, behold [the Mishnah] deals with terumah; and if it is like unconsecrated [food], behold [the
Mishnah] deals with unconsecrated [food]!2 For it is taught:3 Unconsecrated [food] which was
prepared according to the purity of hallowed things is like unconsecrated [food]. R. Eleazar son of R.
Zadok says: It is like terumah. — Rather [is it to be inferred] from the second part [of the Mishnah].
JOSE B. JO'EZER WAS THE MOST PIOUS IN THE PRIESTHOOD, YET HIS APRON WAS
[CONSIDERED TO POSSESS] MIDRAS-UNCLEANNESS [FOR THOSE WHO ATE]
HALLOWED THINGS. JOHANAN B. GUDGADA USED ALL HIS LIFE TO EAT
[UNCONSECRATED FOOD] IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PURITY REQUIRED FOR
HAllowed THINGS, YET HIS APRON WAS [CONSIDERED TO POSSESS]
MIDRAS-UNCLEANNESS FOR [THOSE WHO OCCUPIED THEMSELVES WITH THE
WATER OF] PURIFICATION. [Only] for [those who occupied themselves with the water of]
purification, but not for hallowed things; thus [the Mishnah] holds that unconsecrated [food] which
was prepared according to the purity of hallowed things is like hallowed things.
R. Jonathan b. Eleazar said: If a man's wrap4 fell from off him, and he said to his fellow,5 ‘Give it
to me’, and he gave it to him, it is unclean.6 R. Jonathan b. Amram said: If by mistake a man put his
Sabbath garments on instead of his weekday garments, they become unclean.7 R. Eleazar b. Zadok
said: Once two scholarly8 women took one another's garments by mistake in the bathhouse, and the
matter came before R. Akiba, and he declared them unclean. To this R. Oshaia demurred: If so, if a
man stretched forth his hand to the basket with the intention of taking wheat bread and there came up
in his hand barley bread, has it also become unclean? And should you say ‘It is so’; then behold it is
taught: If one guards a jug on the assumption that it is [a jug] of wine, and it is found to be [a jug] of
oil, it is clean so as not to defile! — But according to your reasoning, how do you understand the
concluding clause [of the Baraitha]: But it may not be consumed? Why? — Said R. Jeremiah: It
refers to a case where [the keeper] says: I guarded it against anything that might defile it,9 but not
against anything that might invalidate it.10 But can anything be half-guarded? — Indeed; for it is
taught: If a man stretched forth his hand into the basket, and the basket was on his shoulder and the
shovel was in the basket, and his mind was on the basket but not on the shovel, the basket is clean
and the shovel is unclean. [Now it says] ‘The basket is clean’? [Surely] the shovel should make the
basket unclean! — One vessel does not make another unclean.11 Then it should make the contents12
of the basket unclean! — Rabina said: It refers to a case where [the keeper] says: I guarded it [the
shovel] against anything that might defile it, but not against anything that might invalidate it.13 In
any case, there is a contradiction!14 And furthermore, Rabbah b. Abbuha raised an objection: Once a
woman came before R. Ishmael and said to him: Master, I have woven this garment in purity,15 but it
was not in my mind to guard it in purity.16 But as a result of the cross-examination to which R.
Ishmael subjected her, she said to him: Master, a menstruous woman pulled the cord17 with me. Said
R. Ishmael: How great are the words of the Sages, who used to say: If one had the intention to guard
a thing, it is clean; if one did not have the intention to guard it, it is unclean. There was another story
of a woman who came before R. Ishmael. She said to him: Master, I wove this cloth in purity, but it
was not in my mind to guard it. But as a result of the cross-examination to which R. Ishmael
subjected her, she said to him: Master, a thread broke18 and I tied it with my mouth.19 Said R.
Ishmael: How great are the words of the Sages who used to say: If it is in one's mind to guard a thing
it is clean; if it is not in one's mind to guard it, it is unclean. 20
Granted in regard to [the teaching of] R. Eleazar b. Zadok, [it can be explained that] each one [of
the women] says [to herself]: ‘My companion is the wife of an ‘am ha-arez’; and [consequently] she
takes her mind off it. In regard to [the teaching of] R. Jonathan b. Amram too [it can be explained
that] since a man takes special care of Sabbath garments,21 [it is as though] he took his mind off
them. But in regard to [the teaching of] R. Jonathan b. Eleazar [it can be objected] that he could
[still] guard it in the hand of his companion! — R. Johanan answered: It is a presumable certainty
that one does not guard what is in the hand of his companion. — Indeed no?
(1) Viz. that the garments of Pharisees who eat unconsecrated food in ordinary purity possess midras-uncleanness for
those who eat unconsecrated food according to the purity required by hallowed things. The omission of this category
proves, according to R. Mari, that it belongs to the same degree of purity as hallowed things themselves, which are
already mentioned in the Mishnah.
(2) I.e., the fact that unconsecrated food prepared according to the purity of hallowed things is not mentioned in the
Mishnah as a separate degree of purity does not necessarily prove that it is like hallowed things. On the contrary, it may
belong to one of the other degrees of purity specified in the Mishnah, such as ordinary unconsecrated food or terumah.
(3) I.e., we actually find Tannaim disputing as to whether it is like ordinary food or like terumah; but no one takes the
view that it is like hallowed things.
(4) So Jast.; Levy, ‘Hulle’; Goldschmidt, ‘Kopftuch’. Cf. rpt (‘headband’) in I Kings XX, 38, 41, which belongs to
the same root as our word ,rpgn, with interchange of t and g.
(5) I.e., one as observant of the laws of purity as himself (R. Hananel).
(6) Even though the person, who picked it up was clean, for we cannot assume that he took it upon himself to guard it
from impurity whilst he handled it, since the owner did not inquire whether he was clean or not; nor can we say that the
owner guarded it against defilement whilst it was not in his possession (v. R. Johanan's answer p. 131).
(7) This apparently teaches the principle that if a man guards something on the assumption that it is one thing and finds it
to be another, it is unclean.
(8) Lit.,’associates i.e., knowing and observing the Laws of purity. V. p. 120, n. 4.
(9) I.e., so that in turn it could make other things unclean.
(10) I.e., from being used, but would not make it capable of imparting impurity. This shows that although the keeper
may be mistaken regarding the identity of the object guarded, his guarding nevertheless remains effective for the purpose
intended, which, in this case, was that the oil should not be defiled.
(11) Although a vessel can defile food.
(12) Figs (Rashi).
(13) From being used at the outset in connection with clean foodstuffs. The shovel, being ‘a utensil’, can only be
invalidated by unclean liquids (Tosaf). Rashi suggests, alternatively, that ‘it’ may refer to the food adhering to the
shovel. — This Baraitha thus shows that a thing can be guarded ‘by half’.
(14) I.e., the statement in the Baraitha that the oil remains clean supports R. Oshaia and contradicts the view that a
mistake in regard to the identity of an object serves to make it unclean.
(15) I.e., I know, as a matter of fact, that from the moment three fingers by three of cloth — the minimum area
susceptible to defilement — were woven it was not made unclean.
(16) I.e., I did not actually intend to guard it against defilement.
(17) So that uncleanness may have been communicated through her shaking the web.
(18) Before she commenced to weave: the rules of uncleanness did not yet apply then.
(19) She had not yet purified herself by immersion from the impurity of her menstruous condition, so that her saliva
possessed uncleanness in the first degree (vtnuyv ct). Thus although to begin with the moistened thread could
not affect the purity of the cloth (hence she paid no attention to it), nevertheless if the thread remained wet when the web
was three fingers by three it would defile the cloth, although the woman had since purified herself by immersion. So
Rashi; for another explanation v. Tosaf. s. v. tnhb.
(20) From all this, It is clear that the deciding factor in keeping an object clean is the intention to guard it against
uncleanness; but it is not necessary to know the identity of the object guarded.
(21) Whereas he thought them to be his week-day clothes.
Talmud - Mas. Chagigah 20b
But behold it is taught: If a man's ass-drivers and workmen1 were laden with [levitically] clean
goods, even if he withdrew from them more than a mil2 his clean goods3 remain clean.4 But if he
said to them: Go ye, and I shall come after you, then as soon as they are hidden from his sight, his
clean goods become unclean. — In what respect is the first case different from the second?5 R. Isaac
Nappaha6 said: In the first case he purifies his ass-drivers and workmen for this purpose.7 — If so, [it
applies to] the second case too! — An ‘am ha-arez does not mind another's touching.8 — If so, [it
applies to] the first case too! — It is a case where [the master] can come upon them [suddenly] by a
roundabout path.9 — If so [it applies to] the second case too! — Since he said to them, ‘Go ye, and I
shall come after you’, their minds are at ease.10
MISHNAH. GREATER STRINGENCY APPLIES TO HALLOWED THlngs11 THAN TO
TERUMAH:12 FOR VESSELS WITHIN VESSELS13 MAY BE IMMERSED [TOGETHER] FOR
TERUMAH, BUT NOT FOR HALLOWED THINGS. THE OUTSIDE AND INSIDE AND
HANDLE14 [OF A VESSEL ARE REGARDED AS SEPARATE] FOR TERUMAH,15 BUT NOT
FOR HALLOWED THINGS.16 HE THAT CARRIES ANYTHING POSSESSING
MIDRAS-UNCLEANNESS17 MAY CARRY [AT THE SAME TIME] TERUMAH,18 BUT NOT
HALLOWED THINGS. THE GARMENTS OF THOSE WHO EAT TERUMAH POSSES15
MIDRAS-UNCLEANNESS FOR [THOSE WHO EAT] HALLOWED THINGS.19 THE RULE
[FOR THE IMMERSION OF GARMENTS]20 FOR [THOSE WHO WOULD EAT OF] TERUMAH
IS NOT LIKE THE RULE FOR [THOSE WHO WOULD EAT OF] HALLOWED THINGS: FOR
IN THE CASE OF HALLOWED THINGS, HE MUST [FIRST] UNTIE [ANY KNOTS21 IN THE
UNCLEAN GARMENT], DRY IT22 [IF IT IS WET, THEN] IMMERSE IT, AND AFTERWARDS
RETIE IT; BUT IN CASE OF TERUMAH, IT MAY [FIRST] BE TIED AND AFTERWARDS
IMMERSED. VESSELS THAT HAVE BEEN FINISHED IN PURITY23 REQUIRE IMMERSION
[BEFORE THEY ARE USED] FOR HALLOWED THINGS, BUT NOT [BEFORE THEY ARE
USED] FOR TERUMAH. A VESSEL UNITES ALL ITS CONTENTS [FOR DEFILEMENT] IN
THE CASE OF HALLOWED THINGS,24 BUT NOT IN THE CASE OF TERUMAH.25
HALLOWED THINGS BECOME INVALID26 [BY UNCLEANNESS] AT THE FOURTH
REMOVE, BUT TERUMAH [ONLY BY UNCLEANNESS] AT THE THIRD REMOVE.27 IN
THE CASE OF TERUMAH, IF ONE HAND OF A MAN BECAME UNCLEAN,28 THE OTHER
REMAINS CLEAN, BUT IN THE CASE OF HALLOWED THINGS, HE MUST IMMERSE
BOTH [HANDS], BECAUSE THE ONE HAND DEFILES THE OTHER FOR HALLOWED
THINGS BUT NOT FOR TERUMAH. DRY FOODSTUFFS29 MAY BE EATEN WITH UNWASH
ED HANDS,30 WITH TERUMAH, BUT NOT WITH HALLOWED THINGS.31
(1) Who belonged to the category of ‘am ha-arez.
(2) I.e., unbeknown, to them. A mil=two thousand cubits (Jast.).
(3) E.g., wine in earthenware jars.
(4) Because the men touch only the exterior of the vessels, which, being earthenware, are not defiled within by the
contact of a defiling object on the outside (cf. Hul. 25a). The fear of their master who could arrive at any moment would
deter the men from attempting to touch the contents of the vessels. This proves that, contrary to R. Johanan's statement, a
man can guard what is in another's hand.
(5) Rashi prefers to delete this sentence. If it is retained, he interprets it as a continuation of the argument against R.
Johanan, thus: — If you contend that a man cannot guard what is in another person's hand, then why is the first case
decided differently from the second? Tosaf., however, explains it as a rejoinder in defence of R. Johanan's teaching:
Granted that the first case of the Baraitha seems to contradict R. Johanan, but how can the second case be explained
otherwise than as a support? One must answer, therefore, with R. Isaac Nappaha, that the first case too does not really
contradict R. Johanan, because the men were specially purified for the purpose.
(6) I.e., the smith.
(7) Consequently the goods remain clean; for even if the men touch the goods they cannot defile then,. But if the men
had not been specially purified, R. Johanan's principle that one cannot guard what is in another's hand would hold good.
(8) I.e., though the workmen, being clean, cannot defile the goods, they might allow them to be defiled by other people
(9) I.e., the fear that he might come upon them by surprise would deter them from permitting a stranger to touch the
(10) That he will not surprise them, and thus whatever they do will not be observed by their master.
(11) I.e., sacrificial flesh, mealofferings and drink-offerings.
(12) In the eleven cases (according to Raba), or ten (according to R. Ela), that follow. For further differences, v. the
Mishnah pp. 119-121. The latter are not included in our Mishnah because (according to Tosaf. s.v. rnuj) they do not
involve the risk of an eventual violation of the law of purity ( vtnuys trrs).
(13) I.e., any articles susceptible to defilement. According to Rashi (a.l.), both the exterior and interior vessels are
unclean; according to Tosaf. (22a, s.v. htn) only the interior vessels re unclean.
(14) vyhcmv ,hc ‘the place of holding’, v. infra p. 143, n. 13.
(15) I.e., if these parts can be used separately they are regarded, in the case of terumah, as distinct utensils, so that if one
of them becomes defiled the others remain unaffected. This rule applies, as the Gemara explains, only in the case of
Rabbinical degrees of uncleanness, v. Kel. XXV, 6f
(16) In the case of hallowed things, if one part becomes defied, the whole vessel is rendered unclean.
(17) E.g., if he wears the shoe of a gonorrhoeist. V. p. 120, n. 3.
(18) I.e., if the terumah is in an earthenware vessel, which he touches only from without. Cf. p. 132, nn. 1 and 2.
(19) V. p. 120, where the same statement is found.
(20) In respect of the law of vmhmv (‘Interposition, all intervening object’). Cf. ‘Er. 4a.
(21) Because they resemble an intervening object.
(22) Here the moisture is deemed to resemble an intervening object.
(23) I.e., from the moment that they reached the stage when they could be termed vessels, and consequently became
susceptible to defilement, they were carefully guarded from uncleanness.
(24) If an unclean person touched one portion of hallowed food in a vessel, all the other pieces, although not in contact
with it, are rendered equally unclean by the unifying effect of the vessel.
(25) In the case of terumah, the portion to touched by the unclean person contracts uncleanness at the first remove (v.
infra n. 7); if another portion touches it, the second contracts uncleanness at the second remove, and any portion
touching the latter suffers uncleanness at the third remove; the rest remain clean.
(26) But cannot, In turn, render anything else invalid.
(27) If A is a ‘Father of uncleanness’ (i.e., suffers from primary uncleanness, which can convey uncleanness even to men
and vessels; those that come in contact with it are termed ‘offspring of uncleanness’, and can convey uncleanness only to
foodstuff and liquids) and touches B, and B to touches C, and C touches D, if D is a hallowed thing it becomes invalid;
and if C is terumah it becomes invalid; but if D is terumah it does not become invalid (Danby, The Mishnah, p. 214. n.
(28) I.e., contracted a Rabbinic (as opposed to Pentateuchal) grade of uncleanness, which defiles the hand without
affecting the rest of the body.
(29) I.e., ordinary food which has never been rendered susceptible to uncleanness by coming in contact with water; v. p.
124, nn. 5-9.
(30) Lit., ‘unclean hands’; though these suffer from levitical uncleanness, the food is not affected because it has never
become susceptible to uncleanness.
(31) V. the explanation in the Gemara, pp. 154f(24b).
Talmud - Mas. Chagigah 21a
A MOURNER [PRIOR TO THE BURIAL OF THE DECEASED],1 AND ONE WHO NEEDS TO
BRING HIS ATONEMENT SACRIFICE [IN ORDER TO COMPLETE HIS PURIFICATION]2
REQUIRE IMMERSION FOR HALLOWED THINGS,3 BUT NOT FOR TERUMAH.4 GEMARA.
Why not in the case of hallowed things?5 R. Ela said: Because the weight of the [inner] vessel forms
an interposition.6 — But since the latter clause [of the Mishnah] is based on [the rule of]
interposition.7 For it is taught in the latter clause: THE RULE [FOR THE IMMERSION OF
GARMENTS] FOR [THOSE WHO WOULD EAT OF] TERUMAH IS NOT LIKE THE RULE
FOR [THOSE WHO WOULD EAT OF] HALLOWED THINGS: FOR IN THE CASE OF
HALLOWED THINGS, HE MUST [FIRST] UNTIE [ANY KNOTS IN THE UNCLEAN
GARMENT], DRY IT [IF IT IS WET, THEN] IMMERSE IT, AND AFTERWARDS RETIE IT;
BUT IN THE CASE OF TERUMAH, IT MAY [FIRST] BE TIED AND AFTERWARDS
IMMERSED! — Both the former clause and the latter clause are based on [the rule of] interposition,
and they are both required. For if [the Mishnah] taught us the former clause [only], I might have
thought that the reason why it is not [permitted to immerse vessels within vessels] for hallowed
things is because of the weight of the vessel [which interposes], but in the latter clause where there is
no weight of a vessel [to interpose], I might have thought that it would not be deemed an
interposition even for hallowed things; and if [the Mishnah] taught us the latter clause, I might have
thought that the reason why it is not [permitted] in the case of hallowed things is because
(1) Heb. ibut , opposed to kct , a mourner during the week following the burial. It is assumed here that the mourner
had not become defiled by the corpse.
(2) E.g., a gonorrhoeist who, after duly immersing himself on the seventh day of his uncleanness, has awaited sunset on
that day, and now has only to bring his sacrifice on the morrow in order to complete his purification.
(3) In the latter case after bringing the prescribed sacrifices.
(4) Which may be eaten not only without immersion, but even before the sacrifices marking the completion of
purification have been brought.
(5) The question refers to the beginning of the Mishnah, i.e., why may not vessels within vessels be immersed for
hallowed things just as for terumah?
(6) The weight of the inner vessel prevents the water from reaching every part of the vessels, thus invalidating the
immersion both of the outer and inner vessels. V. infra p. 139.
(7) If the purpose of the two clauses is identical viz., to teach us that in the case of hallowed things even that which
resembles interposition invalidates, but in the case of terumah only proper interposition, then the Mishnah should have
contained one of the two clauses, not both.
Talmud - Mas. Chagigah 21b
a knot becomes tightened1 in water, but in [the case of] the former clause, where the water causes the
vessel to float, it would not be deemed an interposition; therefore [both clauses] are required.2 R. Ela
[in explaining the former clause to be based on the rule of interposition] is consistent in his view. For
R. Ela said that R. Hanina b. Papa said: Ten distinctions [of hallowed things over terumah] are
taught here.3 The former five apply both to hallowed things and to unconsecrated [food] prepared
according to the purity of hallowed things: the latter [five] apply to hallowed things, but not to
unconsecrated [food] prepared according to the purity of hallowed things. What is the reason? —
The former five, which involve the risk of eventual violation of the law of Impurity according to the
Torah,4 the Rabbis enacted both in regard to hallowed things and in regard to unconsecrated [food]
prepared according to the purity of hallowed things. The latter [five], which do not involve the risk
of the eventual violation of the law of purity according to the Torah, the Rabbis enacted in regard to
hallowed things, but not in regard to unconsecrated [food] prepared according to the purity of
hallowed things. Raba said: Since the latter clause is based on [the rule of] interposition, the former
clause cannot be based on [the rule of] interposition; and as to the former clause, the reason is this: It
is a Precautionary enactment so that one might not immerse needles and hooks in a vessel the mouth
of which is not the size of the spout of a skin-bottle.5 As we have learnt: The union of immersion
pools [requires a connecting stream]6 the size of the spout of a skin-bottle in breadth
(1) Thus approximating to interposition.
(2) Actually the latter clause is required because it also contains the rule: ‘He must dry it (if it is wet)’. But this is not
taken into account in our argument either because, (a) even if it were based on the principle of interposition it was held
to follow from the first clause, or (b) it may be based not on the principle of interposition but on the fact that the original
moisture could re-defile the garment and so render the Immersion useless.
(3) Since eleven points of difference are actually mentioned in the Mishnah, two, according to It. Ela, must be clue to the
same reason and hence are counted as one.
(4) I.e., as opposed to Rabbinic degrees of purity. For an explanation of how this violation of the Torah law of purity can
come about v. Rashi s.v. trrs ; for a discussion of the latter five distinctions v. Tosaf. s.v. t,hhr,c .
(5) In which case the immersion would be invalid, because the water in the vessel would not be regarded as connected
with the water in the immersion pool, for the minimum size of the connecting stream (as explained in the following
Mishnah) must be equivalent to the area of the tube of a skin-bottle.
(6) I.e., two adjoining pools can be combined to make up the prescribed quantity of forty se'ahs of water if there is an
aperture in between allowing a stream (of the size mentioned) to flow between them.
Talmud - Mas. Chagigah 22a
and in area, [namely, One in which] two fingers can make a complete revolution. Thus he [Raba]
agrees with R. Nahman who said that Rabbah b. Abbuha said: Eleven distinctions are taught here:
the former six apply both to hallowed things and to unconsecrated [food] which was prepared
according to the purity of hallowed things; the latter [five] apply to the hallowed things, but not to
unconsecrated [food] prepared according to the purity of hallowed things. What is [the practical
difference] between [the explanations of] Raba and R. Ela? There is [a practical difference] between
them [in the case of] a basket or a net1 which was filled with vessels and immersed. According to the
view that [the former clause] is based on [the rule of] interposition, it applies [here too]; according to
the view that [the former clause] is a Precautionary enactment lest one immerse needles and hooks in
a vessel the mouth of which is not the size of the spout of a skin-bottle, [it does not apply here,
because] there is no basket or net the mouth of which is not the size of a skin-bottle. Now Raba is
consistent in his view. For Raba said: If one filled a basket or net with vessels and immersed them,
they become clean;2 but if an immersion-pool be divided by a basket or net, then whoever immerses
himself therein, his immersion is not effective,3 for the earth is wholly perforated,4 nevertheless we
require that there should be forty se'ahs [of undrawn water] in one place. Now this applies only to a
clean vessel,5 but’ [in the case of] an unclean vessel,6 since the immersion is effective for the entire
vessel itself,7 it is effective also for the vessels which are in it. For we have learnt:8 If one filled
vessels with vessels and immersed them, these [interior vessels also] become clean.9 But if he did
not immerse [the outer vessel], then the water [in it] mingled [with the water of the immersion-pool]
does not count as mingled unless [the water in the outer vessel and immersion-pool] are mingled [by
a stream] the size of the spout of a skin-bottle.10 What is the meaning of ‘But if he did not immerse
[the outer vessel] etc.’? — This is the meaning: But if he did not require to immerse [the outer
vessel],11 then the water [in it] mingled [with the water of the immersion-pool] does not count as
mingled unless [the water in the outer vessel and the immersion-pool] are mingled [by a stream] the
size of the spout of a skin-bottle. Now the point of difference between Raba and R. Ela12 is the
subject of dispute between Tannaim. For it is taught: If a basket or net was filled with vessels and
immersed, they become clear both for hallowed things and for terumah. Abba Saul says: For
terumah, but not for hallowed things. If so, it should apply to terumah too!13 — For whom do we
state this rule]?14 For Associates.15 Associates know [the rules of immersion] very well. If so, it
should apply to hallowed things too!16 — An ‘am ha-arez may see it and go and immerse [likewise].
In the case of terumah too an ‘am ha-arez may see it, and go and immerse [likewise]!17 — We do not
accept it from him.18 Let us not accept hallowed things either from him! — He would bear
animosity.19 In the case of terumah too he will bear animosity! — [In the case of terumah], he does
not mind, for he can go and give it to his fellow, a priest, who is an ‘am ha-arez. And who is the
Tanna who takes account of animosity? — It is R. Jose. For it is taught: R. Jose said: Wherefore are
all trusted throughout the year in regard to the cleanness of the wine and oil [they bring for Temple
Else]?20 It is in order that every one may not go and give and build a high place21 for himself, and
burn a red heifer22 for himself. R. Papa said: According to whom is it that we accept nowadays the
testimony of an ‘am ha-arez? According to whom? According to R. Jose.23 But should we not
apprehend [the contingency] of borrowing [by an Associate]?24 For we have learnt:25 An
earthenware vessel protects everything [therein from contracting uncleanness from a corpse that is
under the same roof]:26 so Beth hillel. Beth Shammai say: It protects only foodstuffs and liquids and
[other] earthenware vessels.27 Said Beth Hillel to Beth Shammai: Wherefore? Beth Shammai
answered: Because it is unclean on account of the ‘am ha arez,28 and an unclean vessel cannot
interpose. Said Beth Hillel to them: But have ye not declared the foodstuffs and liquids therein
clean? Beth Shammai answered: When we declared the foodstuffs and liquids therein clean,
(1) A wicker or network in the wine or oil Press (Jast.), used for straining; cf. A.Z. 56b.
(2) Even for hallowed things.
(3) For the requisite forty se'ahs of water are to be found in neither division, and though, through the meshes of the
network, the water flows from one part of the pool to the other, this is not considered a proper connection for the reason
(4) I.e., water flows through the hollows of the earth, and water appearing at any particular spot is bound to be connected
underground to some big stream elsewhere, yet this connection is not valid, for we require (as the Gemara goes on to
say) forty se'ahs of water in one place.
(5) I.e., the rule that the immersion of an article in a vessel with all aperture less than the size of the mouth of a
skin-bottle is invalid applies only if the outer vessel is clean, and consequently does not itself require immersion.
(6) Which itself requires immersion.
(7) Even if the vessel's mouth is less than the prescribed size, its interior is nevertheless purified by the water of the
immersion-pool, for we argue that in the same manner as it became defiled so it is also purified.
(8) Heb. ib,s i.e., we have learnt in a Mishnah viz., Mi!. VI, 2. But the Mishnah text differs somewhat from the
quotation here, reading as follows: ‘If a bucket filled with vessels was in immersed, they (also) become clean; but if he
did not immerse (the bucket), the water (in it) does not count as mingled unless etc.’. These var. lec. made R. Samson b.
Abraham of Sens (in his commentary to Mik.) conclude that our quotation was not the actual Mishnah from Mik., but a
Baraitha corresponding to it. Other var. lec. are ‘and immersed it’ for ‘and immersed them’, and ‘in the mingled water’
for ‘the mingled water’. Both R. Asher b. Jehiel and R. Abraham of Sens had the second reading, the latter referring the
phrase specifically to the examples of ‘mingled waters’ enumerated in Mik. V, 6, the former explaining it more generally
of all instances of reservoirs united by a connecting stream. The reacting ‘the water (in it) does not count as mingled’ is
undoubtedly the smoothest.
(9) I.e.,irrespective of the size of the outer vessel's mouth. This immersion is valid for terumah only (v. the Mishnah p.
(10) I.e., unless the outer vessel's mouth is that size.
(11) I.e., because it was levitically clean.
(12) I.e., Raba explains the first clause of the Mishnah to be based on the rule that the unification of immersion-pools
requires a connecting stream at least the size of a skin-bottle spout in thickness, and consequently articles immersed in a
basket or net, the mouth of which is invariably large, can be used even for hallowed things in accordance with the first
view in the Baraitha. R. Ela explains the same clause with reference to the rule of interposition, and consequently articles
immersed in a basket or net, just as those immersed in any other receptacle, may be used only for terumah in accordance
with Abba Saul.
(13) I.e., the prohibition against immersing vessels within vessels, according to either explanation, should apply to
terumah as well as hallowed things.
(14) Concerning the immersion of vessels within vessels.
(15) V. p. 120, n. 2. The ‘am ha-arez would not even wish to know the laws of immersion, let alone observe them.
(16) I.e.,if the Mishnah applies only to Associates, who observe all the laws meticulously, why are they not permitted to
immerse vessels within vessels for hallowed things?
(17) And as he cannot be trusted to observe properly the rules of immersion, the hallowed contents of the vessels would
(18) Terumah is accepted from an ‘am ha-arez only at the seasons of wine-presses and olive-vats (v.infra 24b, and
Toh.IX, 4), when all purify their vessels Properly under associate supervision (according to Rashi). or when all are
regarded for the time as Associates (according to Tosaf. s.v. tk; cf. infra 26a).
(19) For were they not Jews?
(20) Wine for libations, oil for the preparation of meal-offerings.
(21) When these were prohibited: v. J.E. vol. VI, pp. 387-389 (particularly the last section, p. 389, s. ‘Rabbinic
(22) V. Num. XIX, 2ff; cf. also R. Judah's statement (quoted in Tosaf. a.l. s. tka , as R. Jose's) in Tosef. Hagigah III,
that all are to be trusted to look after the ashes of the red heifer.
(23) But not the other Rabbis; v. Pes. 42b.
(24) I.e., should we not prohibit the immersion of vessels within vessels for terumah even by Associates, lest the ‘am
ha-arez see it and do likewise (but without observing all the prescribed laws). and an Associate go and borrow the
vessels from him?
(25) I.e., that it is permitted to borrow vessels from an ‘am ha-arez.
(26) l.e., if its lid is fixed on; or if the corpse is in a room below and the earthen vessel covers the hatchway between the
lower room and the upper room, it protects everything in the upper chamber. Cf. Num. XIX, 15, and Oh. V, 3.
(27) Kel. X, 1.
(28) Being the vessel of an ‘am ha-arez, it is unclean to begin with, before ever it is placed over the hatching or articles
are put in it.
Talmud - Mas. Chagigah 22b
we declared them clean [only] for [the ‘am ha-arez]. himself;1 but should we [therefore] declare
[also] the vessel clean, which would make it clean for thee as well as for him?2 It is taught: R. Joshua
said: I am ashamed of your words, O Beth Shammai! Is it possible that if a woman [in the upper
chamber] kneads [dough] in a trough,3 the woman and the trough become unclean for seven days,
but the dough remains clean; that if there is [in the upper room] a flask4 full of liquid, the flask
contracts seven-day uncleanness, but the liquid remains clean!5 [Thereupon] one of the disciples of
Beth Shammai joined him [in debate] and said to him: I will tell thee the reason of Beth Shammai.
He replied, Tell then! So he said to him: Does all unclean vessel bar [the penetration of uncleanness]
or not? He replied: It does not bar it. — Are the vessels of an ‘am ha-arez clean or unclean? He
replied: Unclean. — And if thou sayest to him [that they are] unclean, will he pay any heed to thee?
Nay, more, if thou sayest to him [that they are] unclean, he will reply: Mine are clean and thine are
unclean.6 Now this is the reason of Beth Shammai. Forthwith, R. Joshua went and prostrated himself
upon the graves of Beth Shammai. He said: I crave your pardon,7 bones of Beth Shammai. If your
unexplained teachings are so [excellent], how much more so the explained teachings. It is said that
all his days his teeth were black by reason of his fasts. Now it says, ‘For thee as well as for him’;8
accordingly we may borrow from them! — When we borrow [vessels] from them, we immerse
them.9 If so, Beth Hillel could have replied to Beth Shammai: When we borrow [vessels] from them,
we immerse them! — That which is rendered unclean by a corpse requires sprinkling on the third
and seventh day,10 and people do not lend a vessel for seven days. — But are they not trusted in
regard to immersion?11 For behold it is taught: The ‘am ha-arez is trusted in regard to the
purification by immersion of that which is rendered unclean by a corpse! Abaye answered: There is
no contradiction: the one [teaching] refers to his body,12 the other to his vessels. Raba answered:
Both refer to his vessels; but there is no contradiction: the one refers to a case where he says: I have
never immersed one vessel in another;13 the other refers to a case where he says: I have immersed
[one vessel in another], but I have not immersed in a vessel the mouth of which is not the size of the
spout of a skin-bottle. For it is taught: An ‘am ha-arez is believed if he says: The produce has not
been rendered susceptible [to uncleanness],14 but he is not believed if he says: The produce has been
rendered susceptible [to unclean ness], but it has not been made unclean.15 — But is he trusted in
regard to his body? For behold it is taught: If an Associate comes to receive sprinkling,16 they at
once sprinkle upon him; but if an ‘am ha-arez comes to receive sprinkling, they do not sprinkle upon
him until he observes before us the third and seventh day! — Abaye answered: As a result of the
stringency you impose upon him at the beginning,17 you make it easier for him, at the end.18 THE
OUTSIDE AND THE INSIDE. What is meant by THE OUTSIDE AND THE INSIDE? — As we
have learnt: If the outside of a vessel was rendered Unclean19 by [unclean] liquid,20 [only] its outside
becomes unclean; but the inside, rim, hanger21 and handles,22 remain clean. But if the inside became
unclean,23 the whole is unclean. AND HANDLE. What is meant by the HANDLE? Rab Judah said
that Samuel said: The part by which one hands24 it; and thus it says: And they handed25 her parched
corn.26 R. Assi said that R. Johanan said: The part where the fastidious hold27 it. R. Bebai recited
before R. Nahman: There is no differentiation [in the case of uncleanness] between the outside and
the inside of any vessel,28 be it [for] the hallowed things of the Sanctuary,29 be it [for] the hallowed
things of the provinces.30 Said [the latter] to him: What is meant by ‘the hallowed things of the
provinces’? Terumah. But we have learnt: THE OUTSIDE AND INSIDE AND HANDLE [ARE
REGARDED AS SEPARATE] FOR TERUMAH! Perhaps you mean unconsecrated food prepared
according to the purity of hallowed things. [Indeed], you have recalled something to my mind. For
Rabbah b. Abbuha31 said: Eleven distinctions are taught here [in our Mishnah]: the former six apply
both to hallowed things and to unconsecrated [food] which was prepared according to the purity of
hallowed things; the latter [five] apply to hallowed things, but not to unconsecrated [food] prepared
according to the purity of hallowed things. HE THAT CARRIES ANYTHING POSSESSING
MIDRAS-UNCLEANNESS MAY CARRY [AT THE SAME TIME] TERUMAH, BUT NOT
HALLOWED THINGS. Why not hallowed things? — Because of a certain occurrence. For Rab
Judah said that Samuel said: Once someone was conveying a jar of consecrated wine from one place
(1) The foodstuffs and liquids of an ‘am ha-arez are unclean; hence Associates would eschew them in any case.
(2) I.e., all Associate may borrow the vessel of an ‘am ha-arez. The Mishnah text differs from our own in several details.
The most important var. lec. is: ‘But when thou declarest the vessel clean, thou declarest it so for thyself as well as for
him,. The Mishnah then concludes: ‘Beth Hillel retracted and gave their ruling according to Beth Shammai
(3) And the hatchway leading from it to the lower room in which the corpse is lying was covered by an earthen vessel.
(4) Heb. ihduk = ihdk (the usual and correct form) of the Mishnah and MS.M.; larger than a xuf (cup) and smaller
than a sf (jug) — cf. Bez. 15b. Here, it would be made of metal or wood.
(5) In accordance with your view that an earthenware vessel affords no protection to anything apart from foodstuffs,
liquids and earthenwares. Cf. Oh. V, 4.
(6) Because of the intransigence of the ‘am ha-arez in regard to things which cannot be purified, e.g.. foodstuffs and
earthenware vessels (the latter have to be broken), therefore Beth Shammai declared them clean i.e.,for the ‘am ha-arez,
only; but vessels (like the trough and the flask) which can be purified by immersion are declared unclean, for the ‘am
ha-arez will in such instance, where there is a remedy pay heed to Rabbinic injunction, and purify the vessels: so Rashi.
But Tosaf. (s.v. oukf), holding the view that the ‘am ha-ares never conforms to Rabbinic ruling, explains the passage
in the following lines: An Associate may never use food or drinks belonging to an ‘am ha-arez, for the latter does not
observe the laws of purity; hence there is no need, in our case, to declare them impure, for they do not affect Associates.
But immersible vessels may be borrowed from an ‘am ha-arez, for they can be purified by immersion; hence, In our case,
they have to be declared unclean so that Associates should not use them without first purifying them.
(7) Lit., ‘I humble myself to you’.
(8) V. p. 141, and cf. n. 2.
(9) Lest the ‘am ha-arez immersed them In a vessel, without observing the prescribed rules.
(10) V. Num. XIX, 18ff.
(11) For Associates we are told have to immerse any vessels borrowed from an ‘am ha-arez.
(12) For which he is trusted.
(13) In this case he is believed.
(14) I.e., by being wetted; v. p. 124, nn. 6-9.
(15) This shows that he could not be relied on in a matter which required scrupulous care, and similarly in regard to the
regulation relating to the size of the mouth of the immersing vessel.
(16) Declaring that he has duly waited the first three days. Sprinkling takes place on the third and seventh day after
defilement by a corpse.
(17) By not believing that he waited three days.
(18) I.e., he is trusted in regard to the immersion following the sprinklings; for this he carries out with due care, as he is
anxious to complete his purification.
(19) Only in the case of vessels made of wood or metal can the outside be defiled: earthen vessels are rendered unclean
only from the inside (v. Lev. XI, 33).
(20) According to the laws of the Torah only ‘a father of uncleanness’ (v. p. 134, n. 7) can defile vessels; but the Rabbis
enacted that all unclean liquids should defile vessels on account of fluid issuing from a gonorrhoeist, which is a ‘father
of uncleanness’ (v. Nid. 7a). In order, however, to prevent terumah or hallowed things from being burnt in consequence
of contact with vessels defiled by liquids, a distinction was made to mark the Rabbinic (as opposed to Torah) character
of the defilement viz. that if the outside of a vessel became thus defiled, the inside etc. should remain clean (v. Bek. 38a).
(21) Lit., ‘ear’ i.e., ear-shaped handle.
(22) Lit., ‘its hands’ = ‘place of holding’ in our Mishnah, v. p. 133, n. 4. The different parts of the vessel enumerated
here have a distinct use; hence they are treated as separate utensils, and remain clean, if the outside only of the vessel be
(23) Even according to Rabbinic law only.
(24) I.e., holds it and reaches it to another.
(25) E.V. ‘reached’.
(26) Ruth II, 14.
(27) I.e., the handle. Heb. (in edd.) ihgcum, prob. denominative from gcmt , ‘finger’ (cf. Aramaic tgcm ) i.e.,
grip with fingers (v. Levy s.v.). J.T. has tghcmv ,hc in the Mishnah instead of our vyhcmv ,hc ;
undoubtedly, R. Johanan, the editor of the Pal. Talmud, was explaining the J.T., rather than the Babylonian reading.
According to Rashi, ihgcum = ihkhcyn i.e., dip the food: he explains that a cavity was made in the bottom (under
the rim?) of the vessel where mustard or vinegar was placed, and the food dipped there. The MS.M. reading is ihycum
; the J.T. III,1 has, ‘By which the cleanly take hold of it’; Aruch: ‘. . . drink’; v. D.S. a.I.
(28) Lit., ‘all vessels have no outside’, i.e., if the outside became defiled, the whole vessel is rendered unclean.
(29) I.e., sacrifices.
(30) I.e., sacred gifts, like terumah, which can be eaten in any part of Palestine.
(31) R. Nahman's teacher.
Talmud - Mas. Chagigah 23a
, when the thong of his sandal1 broke, and he took it and placed it on the mouth of the jar, and It fell
into the hollow2 of the jar, which was thus rendered unclean. At that time they enjoined: He that
carries anything possessing midras-uncleanness may carry [at the same time] terumah, but not
hallowed things. — If so, [it should be forbidden to carry] terumah too! — This is according to R.
Hananiah b. Akabia who said: They Prohibited it only on the Jordan and in a ship and according to
[the circumstances of] the occurrence.3 What is this? — It is taught: A man shall not take water of
purification or ashes of purification,4 and convey them over the Jordan in a ship, nor stand on one
side [of a river] and throw them to the other side, nor float them over the water, nor ride upon all
animal or his fellow, unless his feet touch the ground;5 but one may unhesitatingly convey them over
a bridge, be it across the Jordan or any other river. R. Hananiah b. Akabia says: They prohibited it
only on the Jordan and in a ship and according to [the circumstances of] the occurrence. What was
the occurrence? — Rab Judah said that Rab said: Once someone was conveying water of purification
on the Jordan in a ship, and a [piece of a] corpse the size of an olive was found stuck in the bottom of
the ship.6 At that time they enjoined: A man shall not take water of purification and ashes of
purification and convey them over the Jordan in a ship. A question was raised: [It happened with] all
unclean sandal; what of a clean sandal?7 [It happened with] all open jar, what of a closed jar?8 How
is it if a man transgressed and carried [them thus]? — R. Ela said: If he transgressed and carried
[them thus], they are unclean. R. Zera said: If he transgressed and carried [them thus] they are clean.
VESSELS THAT HAVE BEEN FINISHED IN PURITY etc. Who finished them? Should one say
that an Associate finished them, then why do they require immersion? If, on the other hand, an ‘am
ha-arez, finished them, can they be called ‘finished in purity’? — Rabbah b. Shilah said that R.
Mattenah said that Samuel said: Actually, [one can say] that an Associate finished them, yet [the
vessel requires immersion] lest the spittle of an ‘am ha-arez9 [fell upon it].10 — When could it have
fallen [upon it]? Should one say, before he finished it, then it is not yet a vessel!11 If, on the other
hand, after he had finished it, then he would surely take good care of them! — Actually, [one can say
that it fell upon it] before he finished it, but perhaps at the time when he finished it, it was still
moist.12 [It states:] It requires [only] immersion, but not sunset;13 our Mishnah, therefore, is not
according to R. Eliezer. For we have learnt: If a [reed] pipe14 was cut15 for [putting therein ashes of]
purification, R. Eliezer says: It must be immersed forthwith; R. Joshua says: It must [first] be
rendered unclean, and then immersed.16 Now we raised the point: Who could have cut it? Should
one say that an Associate cut it, then why is im mersion required?17 If, on the other hand, an ‘am
ha-arez cut it, how can R. Joshua, in such a case, say: It must [first] be rendered unclean, and then
immersed? Behold,it is already unclean! Now Rabbah b. Shila said that R. Mattenah said that
Samuel said: Actually, [you can say] that an Associate cut it, yet [immersion is required] lest the
spittle of an ‘am ha-arez [fell upon it]. — [Again] when could it have fallen [upon it]? Should one
say before he cut it, then it is not yet a vessel! If, on the other hand, after he had cut it, he would
surely take good care of it! Actually, [you can say that it fell on the vessel] before he cut it, but
perhaps at the time that he cut it, it was still moist. Granted [then] according to R. Joshua, a
distinction is thus made, [as a demonstration] against the Sadducees.18 For we have learnt: They used
to render the priest that was to burn the [red] heifer unclean,19 as a demonstration against the view of
the Sadducees,20 who used to say:21 It must be performed [only] by those on whom the sun had set.22
But according to R. Eliezer, granted if you say that in an other cases we do require sunset,23 a
distinction is thus made [as a demonstration] against the Sadducees, but if you say that in other cases
[too] we do not require sunset, what distinction is there, [as a demonstration] against the
Sadducees?24 — Rab answered:
(1) Which possessed midras-uncleanness. J.T.: ‘his sandal got torn off’ (v. Tosaf. s.v. vexpbu ).
(2) Lit., ‘air’.
(3) I.e., R. Hananiah, taught that a Rabbinic decree consequent upon a certain incident was always restricted to the actual
circumstances of the incident. In our case, the occurrence was in connection with hallowed things; therefore the Rabbinic
prohibition affects only hallowed things.
(4) V. Num. XIX.
(5) Since a person travelling in a ship does not touch the ground with his feet, the Rabbis enacted that anyone carrying
water or ashes of purification may not journey with his feet lifted off the ground.
(6) The moment the piece of corpse was overshadowed by a person or object, it caused all under the same covering or
overshadowing to become unclean for seven days: v. Num. XIX, 14 and Oh. II, 1.
(7) I.e., does the prohibition referred to in our Mishnah extend also to a person wearing a clean sandal?
(8) Into which nothing could fall.
(9) Who, we are afraid, may be suffering from gonorrhoea, in ‘which case any fluid coming from him is a ‘father of
uncleanness;’ cf. p. 143, n.6.
(10) Unobserved by the Associate.
(11) And cannot, therefore, be defiled.
(12) In Nid. VII, I, we learn that spittle etc. convey uncleanness when wet, but not when dry.
(13) Otherwise it would be specifically mentioned. Cf p. 121, n. 9.
(14) Cf. Kel. XVIII, 7.
(15) I.e., from the ground, so that it was still clean.
(16) R. Eliezer and R. Joshua agree that being a vessel, and therefore subject to defilement, the reed pipe has to be
immersed and then used for the ashes of the red heifer before sunset, the underlying motive being to demonstrate against
the Sadducees, who held that any thing or person to be employed in connection with the red heifer must, if unclean, first
be completely purified, i.e., must wait for sunset after immersion; whereas the Rabbis held that immersion without sunset
was sufficient; and although the Sadducean view in this case was stricter than the Pharisaic, the Rabbis nevertheless
demonstrated against the Sadducees in order to uphold the authority of the Oral Law, which the latter repudiated. The
only difference between R. Eliezer and R. Joshua is as to whether the vessel should first be defiled (and thus rendered
unclean according to the Law of the Torah, which the Sadducees also recognized), or immersed forthwith (being
regarded as unclean by Rabbinic enactment only). Cf. the defilement of the priest referred to on p. 147, and another
demonstration against the Sadducees mentioned on p. 111.
(17) Seeing that the reed pipe is actually clean, the fact that we require its immersion without the awaiting of sunset
cannot be regarded as a demonstration against the Sadducees, who postulate sunset only for the unclean; the immersion,
therefore, would be pointless.
(18) For Once the reed pipe is defiled, the Sadducees require sunset In addition to Immersion.
(19) Either (according to Tosaf. who quotes the Tosef. in support) by his fellow priests laying their hands on him (for
compared with him all were unclean; v. p. 121), or (according to Rashi and Maimonides) he was defiled by means of a
(dead) reptile or an equivalent source of uncleanness.
(20) Lit., ‘to bring forth (the false opinion) from the heart of the Sadducces’. The Mishnah, Par. III, 7’ from which this
passage is quoted, has simply, ‘because of the Sadducees’.
(21) The Mishnah text has, ‘that they should not say’, and our reading as a var. lec.
(22) V. p. 146, n. 8.
(23) I.e., that an vessels finished in purity (in circumstances as described by Rabbah b. Shila) require sunset In addition
to immersion before being used for hallowed things, and that only for the ashes of the red heifer is immersion alone
(24) We must conclude, therefore, as suggested above, that our Mishnah is not according to R. Eliezer.
Talmud - Mas. Chagigah 23b
They rendered it as though defiled by a [dead] reptile.1 — If so. it should not render a person
unclean;2 why then is it taught: He who cuts it and immerses it requires immersion? — [You must
say], therefore, They rendered it as though defiled by a corpse.If so, it should require sprinkling on
the third and seventh day; why then is it taught: He who cuts it and immerses it requires immersion?
[implying only] immersion, but not sprinkling on the third and seventh day! — [You must say],
therefore, They rendered it as though in its seventh day after defilement by a corpse.3 But surely it is
taught: They never introduced any innovation in connection with the [red heifer!4 — Abaye
answered: [It means] that they never said that a spade. [for instance]. should be rendered unclean as a
seat [on which a gonorrhoeist sat].5 As it is taught: And he that sitteth on any thing:6 I might [have
thought] that if [the gonorrhoeist] inverted a se'ah [measure] and sat upon it, [or] a Tarkab7
[measure] and sat upon it, it should become un clean, therefore the text teaches us: And he that
sitteth on any thing whereon, [he that hath the issue] Sat ... shall become unclean;8 [meaning] that
which is appointed for sitting;9 but that is excluded In regard to which we can say, Stand up that we
may do our work.10 A VESSEL UNITES ALL ITS CONTENTS [FOR DEFILEMENT] IN THE
CASE OF HALLOWED THINGS, BUT NOT IN THE CASE OF TERUMAH. Whence is this
deduced? R. Hanin said: Scripture says: One golden pan of ten shekels, full of incense:11 thus, the
verse made an the contents of the pan one. R. Kahana raised an objection: [We have learnt], R.
Akiba added12 [with regard to] the fine flour13 and the incense, the frankincense and the coals,14 that
if one who had taken an immersion that day [but had not yet awaited sunset]15 touched a part thereof,
he renders the whole in valid.16 Now this is [an enactment] of the Rabbis!17 Whence [is this proven]?
— Since it teaches in the first clause: R. Simeon b. Bathyra testified concerning the ashes of
purification that if an unclean person touched a part thereof, he rendered the whole unclean; and then
it teaches: R. Akiba added:18 — Resh Lakish answered in the name of Bar Kappara
(1) I.e., you can still say our Mishnah is according to R. Eliezer, even if he holds the view that in other cases too we do
not require sunset for vessels finished in purity, for here the vessel is made to assume the uncleanness of an object
defiled by a (dead) reptile (in respect of communicating defilement), which object in all other cases requires sunset. Thus
a distinction is made, which clearly rejects the Sadducean view.
(2) Only a ‘father of uncleanness’ can defile a person; whereas a vessel defiled by a dead reptile would be an ‘offspring
(3) I.e., as though in its seventh day after the sprinkling: it would still require immersion and could defile a person.
(4) Whereas the actual defilement of the priest (v. p. 147) does not involve any change in the laws of levitical purity. the
attribution of corpse-defilement to the reed cut in purity represents a complete Innovation.
(5) A gonorrhoeist defiles an object on which he sits, making it a ‘father of uncleanness’ provided (as the following
Baraitha explains) it is an object appointed for sitting. Now the Rabbis never enacted a new law in connection with the
red heifer, whereby an object on susceptible to a given type of uncleanness should become susceptible to it, e.g.. that a
spade should become defiled as the seat of a gonorrhoeist: in this sense they introduced no innovations. But they did not
refrain from attributing to a vessel the kind of uncleanness to which it was susceptible, even though it had not actually
been defiled. Thus the reed pipe, though clean, could be regarded as though defiled by a corpse, since it could be subject
(6) Lev. XV, 6.
(7) Grk. **, terkab (for another derivation v. Jastrow s.v.) == three kabs or a half se'ah, a dry measure.
(8) Heb. tnyh ; in the verse tnyu (‘and shall be unclean’).
(9) This is deduced apparently from the word cah (‘sat’), which, being vocalized as the imperfect instead of the perfect
( cah ), can imply repeated action i.e., that it did not just happen on this one occasion that someone sat on it, but that it
was customary to use it as a seat (v. Rashi here and to Lev. XV, 4). B. Epstein in Torah Temimah (ibid. N. 20) explains
the deduction to be drawn from the world hkf (E.V. ‘thing but really ‘vessel, article’) i.e., an article appointed for
(10) I.e., it excludes any article which has its own specific use and was not intended as a seat.
(11) Num. VII, 14 et passim.
(12) I.e., to R. Simeon b. Bathiyra's statement (quoted infra; v. ‘Ed. VIII, 1 (Sonc. ed., p. 47).
(13) Used for a meal-offering; cf. Lev. II, 1ff.
(14) Carried by the High Priest into the Holy of Holies for the purpose of producing the cloud of incense (cf. Lev. XVI,
12); this rule of defilement did not apply to the coals gathered every day by ordinary priests. It should be noted that
though frankincense and coal are ordinarily not susceptible to uncleanness, they are rendered so in this case on account
of their sanctity.
(15) Which would I have completed his purification; thus, he is still partially unclean and renders invalid (though he
does not defile) Terumah and hallowed things.
(16) Because the vessel unites an its contents. The point in R. Akiba's addition is either (a) that a vessel is able to unite
its contents even for invalidation and not for defilement only (Bertinoro); or (b) that even flat vessels, not hollowed like
a receptacle, can unite their contents (Maim. following our Gemara; v. p. 150).
(17) Whereas R. Hanin derived the rule from the Torah.
(18) R. Simeon b. Bathyra's testimony is definitely of Rabbinic origin, for from the verse quoted above one could only
deduce that the rule applied to offerings on the altar, but not to the ashes of the red heifer. Since R. Akiba's statement is
an addition to a Rabbinic rule, it follows that it must itself be a Rabbinic enactment.
Talmud - Mas. Chagigah 24a
: It1 refers only to the remains of the meal-offering,2 for according to the Torah that which requires
the vessel,3 the vessel unites, that which does not require the vessel,4 the vessel does not unite; and
the Rabbis came and decreed that even though it does not require the vessel, the vessel should unite
it. Granted with regard to the fine flour, but how are the incense and the frankincense to be
explained?5 — R. Nahman answered that Rabbah b. Abbuha said: For instance, if he heaped them
upon a leather spread: according to the Torah, that which has an inside6 can unite [its contents], that
which has no inside, cannot unite [them]; and the Rabbis came and enacted that even that which has
no inside should unite [its contents]. Now R. Hanin's teaching win conflict with that of R. Hiyya b.
Abba, for R. Hiyya b. Abba said that R. Johanan said: This Mishnah7 was taught as a resent of R.
Akiba's testimony.8 HALLOWED THINGS BECOME INVALID [BY UNCLEANNESS] AT THE
FOURTH REMOVE. It is taught: R. Jose said: Whence [is it deduced] that hallowed things become
invalid [by uncleanness even] at the fourth remove? Now it is [to be deduced by] conclusion ad
majus: if one who [only] needs to bring his atonement sacrifice [in order to complete his
purification]9 is, whilst being permitted [to partake] of terumah, [nevertheless] disqualified for
hallowed things,10 how much more so should uncleanness at the third remove, which renders
terumah invalid,11 produce in the case of hallowed things uncleanness at the fourth remove.12 Thus,
we learn uncleanness at the third remove in respect of hallowed things from the Torah, and
uncleanness at the fourth remove by means of an a fortiori argument. Whence [do we deduce] from
the Torah uncleanness at the third remove in respect of hallowed things? It is written: And the flesh
that toucheth a thing unclean thing shall not be eaten;13 we are surely dealing [here with a case]
where it may have touched something suffering from uncleanness [even] at the second remove,14 yet
the Divine Law says it ‘shall not be eaten ‘Uncleanness at the fourth remove by means of? an a
fortiori argument’; as we have said [above]. IN THE CASE OF TERUMAH, IF [ONE HAND OF A
MAN] BECAME etc. R. Shezbi said: They taught [this only] of a case where [the hands] are
connected,15 but not where they are not connect ed.16 Abaye put an objection to him: [It is taught]: A
dry [unclean] hand renders the other unclean so as to render hallowed things unclean,17 but not
terumah this is the view of Rabbi. R. Jose son of R. Judah says: so as to render invalid,18 but not
unclean. Now granted, if you say that [it refers also to] a case where [the hands] are not connected,
[then the fact that the hand is] ‘dry’ is in that case remarkable; but if you say that [it refers only to] a
case where [the hands] are connected, but not where they are not connected, what is there
remarkable about [the hand being] ‘dry’?19 It is also20 taught: Resh Lakish said: They taught [this
only] of his [own hand], but not of the hand of his fellow.21
(1) I.e., R. Akiba's testimony.
(2) I.e.,the rule to which R. Akiba testified is certainly of Rabbinic origin; but this does not conflict with the view of R.
Hanin who derives our Mishnah teaching from the Bible, for R. Akiba refers only to the remains of the meal eaten by the
Priests (v. Lev. II, 3 et passim) to which the Biblical law (as the Gemara goes on to explain) does not apply.
(3) For the service in connection therewith, e.g., the incense; v. Num. VII, 14 quoted on p. 149.
(4) E.g., the remains of the meal-offering which are eaten by the priests.
(5) Since they require the vessel, the vessel unites them according to the law of the Torah: why then are they included in
R. Akiba's testimony, which refers only to Rabbinical enactments?
(6) I.e., is hollowed like a receptacle.
(7) I.e., our Mishnah.
(8) I.e., it is of Rabbinic, not of Torah origin.
(9) V. p. 135, n. 4.
(10) V. Yeb. 74b (Sonc. ed., pp. 502-3).
(11) V. Sot. 29a (Sonc. ed., p. 143).
(12) Thus rendering the hallowed things invalid. For this method of argument cf. B.K. 24bff (Sonc. ed., p. 125ff). The
principle of iusbf ,uhvk ihsv in tck uhs (‘It is quite sufficient that the law in respect of the thing inferred
should be equivalent to that from which it is derived’) discussed ibid., does not apply here, for otherwise the ‘a fortiori’
argument becomes valueless, for we know from Scripture that uncleanness at the third remove invalidates hallowed
things; and those, too, who hold the principle of ‘Dayyo’ even where the purpose of the ‘a fortiori’ argument is defeated,
would nevertheless not apply it here, since we are dealing only with Rabbinical not Torah degrees of impurity.
(13) With reference to the flesh of peace-offerings; Lev. VII, 19.
(14) So that the hallowed flesh (of the peace-offering) is made to suffer uncleanness at the third remove. The Gemara
assumes here that the term ‘unclean thing,’ can include something suffering from second-grade uncleanness, because we
find that an object possessing uncleanness at the second remove is termed ‘unclean’ by Scripture; v. Lev. XI, 33, where
the vessel possesses uncleanness at the first remove and its contents, therefore, uncleanness at the second remove.
(15) I.e., the rule in the Mishnah that one hand defiles the other for hallowed things applies only (according to Rashi) to
a case where the unclean hand is actually touching the clean hand at the time when the latter is in contact with hallowed
things, the reason for this Rabbinic enactment being the fear lest the unclean hand touch the hallowed things. But Tosaf.
(s.v. ihruc h,c ) explains the case to be one where the clean hand is touching the unclean hand whilst the latter is in
contact with a defiling object (e.g., a sacred Scroll), and we are afraid that the clean hand may also touch the defiling
(16) I.e., (according to Rash), if, after the unclean hand had been removed from the clean, the latter to touched hallowed
things. these would remain clean, for one hand cannot convey to the other uncleanness even at the third remove so as to
render, in turn, hallowed things invalid.
(17) I.e., at the third remove: third-grade uncleanness can, in turn, produce in hallowed things fourth grade uncleanness.
Unwashed hands are generally regarded as possessing uncleanness at the second remove.
(18) I.e., the second hand can convey at the third remove to hallowed things a fourth-grade uncleanness, which
disqualifies them but does not enable them to defile.
(19) If the case is one in which the hands are not connected, then the fact that the clean hand, through having been
previously in contact with the dry unclean hand, is able to defile hallowed things constitutes a new point of Rabbinic
law, viz., that one hand possessing uncleanness at the second remove can convey to the other hand, without the help of
moisture, uncleanness of the same grade; were the unclean hand wet this would not, of course, be remarkable, for since
second-grade uncleanness renders liquids, by Rabbinic enactment, unclean at the first remove, the moisture on the
unclean hand would in turn convey to the other hand uncleanness at the second remove. But if the Mishnah refers only to
a case where the hands are connected, the fact that the hand is dry is pointless. for the defilement of the hallowed things
would in that in-stance perforce have to be accounted for as a preventive prohibition lest the unclean hand touch the
hallowed things (v. p. 151, n. 6). and in that case it would make no difference whether the unclean hand were wet or dry,
for since it possesses second-grade uncleanness, it can defile hallowed things with uncleanness at the third remove.
(20) [MS.M. omits ‘also’ which in fact is difficult to explain.]
(21) I.e., if he touched with his unclean hand another person's hand, the latter's hand is not defiled.
Talmud - Mas. Chagigah 24b
But R. Johanan said: Be it his [own] hand or the hand of his fellow; [and] with that1 hand he can
[defile the other hand]2 so as to render [hallowed things] invalid but not unclean.3 Whence [is this
deduced]? — From the fact that [the Mishnah] teaches in the second clause that the one hand defiles
the other for hallowed things but not for terumah. Why am I told this again? Behold it has already
been taught in the first clause!4 You must surely infer from this that it comes to include the hand of
his fellow. And Resh Lakish, too, retracted; for R. Jonah said that R. Ammi said that Resh Lakish
said: Be it his own hand or the hand of his fellow, with that hand [he can defile the other] so as to
render [hallowed things] invalid but not unclean. Now [whether the second hand] renders [hallowed
things] invalid but not unclean is [disputed by] Tannaim. For we have learnt: Whatsoever renders
terumah invalid5 defiles the hands with uncleanness at the second remove, and one hand renders the
other unclean: this is the view of R. Joshua. But the Sages say: the hands possess uncleanness at the
second remove, and that which possesses uncleanness at the second remove cannot convey
uncleanness at the second remove to anything else.6 Surely, [the meaning is], it cannot convey
uncleanness at the second remove, but it can convey uncleanness at the third remove!7 — Perhaps, it
does not convey uncleanness either at the second or the third remove!8 --Rather [is it disputed by]
the following Tannaim. For it is taught: A dry [unclean] hand renders the other unclean so as to
render unclean in the case of hallowed things, but not in the case of terumah: this is the view of
Rabbi. R. Jose son of R. Judah says: That hand [can defile another] so as to render [hallowed things]
invalid but not unclean. DRY FOODSTUFFS MAY BE EATEN WITH UNWASHED HANDS etc.
It is taught: R. Hanina b. Antigonos said: Is there [a distinction in favour of] dryness in regard to
hallowed things?9 Does not then the honour10 in which hallowed things are held render them fit [for
uncleanness]?11 It refers only to a case where his companion12 inserted [the consecrated food] into
his mouth,13 or he himself picked it up with a spindle14 or whorl,15 and he wanted to eat
unconsecrated horseradish or onion with it,16 then in the case of hallowed things the Rabbis
prohibited it,17 in the case of terumah the Rabbis did not prohibit it.18 A MOURNER [PRIOR TO
THE BURIAL OF THE DECEASED] AND ONE WHO NEEDS TO BRING HIS ATONEMENT
SACRIFICE [IN ORDER TO COMPLETE HIS PURIFICATION] etc. What is the reason? — Since
up till now they were prohibited [from partaking of hallowed things],19 the Rabbis required them to
take an immersion. MISHNAH. GREATER STRINGENCY APPLIES TO TERUMAH [THAN TO
HALLOWED THINGS], FOR IN JUDEA20 THEY21 ARE TRUSTED IN REGARD TO THE
PURITY OF [HALLOWED] WINE AND OIL THROUGHOUT THE YEAR;22 AND ONLY AT
THE SEASON OF THE WINE-PRESSES AND OLIVE-VATS23 IN REGARD TO TERUMAH. IF
[THE SEASON OF] THE WINE-PRESSES AND OLIVE-VATS WAS PASSED, AND ONE24
BROUGHT TO HIM25 A JAR OF WINE OF TERUMAH, THE LATTER MAY NOT ACCEPT IT
FROM HIM. HOWEVER, [THE ‘AM HA-AREZ] MAY LEAVE IT FOR THE COMING
[SEASON] OF THE WINE-PRESS.26 BUT IF HE SAID TO HIM,27 ‘I HAVE SET APART
THEREIN A QUARTER LOG28 AS A HALLOWED THING’,29 HE IS TRUSTED [IN REGARD
TO THE PURITY OF THE WHOLE].30 IN REGARD TO JUGS OF WINE AND JUGS OF OIL
(1) I.e., the first hand.
(2) [So Rash. Tosaf. (s.v. sjt fol. 24a) on the basis of another reading refers it to the hand of his fellow: ‘Be it his
own hand or the hand of his fellow (that hand can defile) so as to render invalid etc.’]
(3) Resh Lakish on the other hand, holds, it appears, that the hallowed things are rendered unclean; cf. his retraction
‘Infra (v. Tosaf. ibid.).
(4) I.e., that In the case of hallowed things he must immerse both hands.
(5) I.e., any-thing suffering from second-grade uncleanness; cf. Zab. V, 12.
(6) I.e., one hand cannot convey the same grade of uncleanness to the other; this shows that R. Joshua holds the opposite
view. The text in the Mishnah, apart from minor differences, omits the words ‘the hands possess uncleanness at the
(7) Thus enabling it to invalidate terumah.
(8) I.e., the Sages may hold that since, as they observe, the hand possesses second-grade uncleanness, it cannot defile the
other hand at an, so that, unlike our own mishnah, they would not accept any distinction in this respect between terumah
and hallowed things. In other words, possibly the Tannaim do not differ as to whether the second hand invalidates or
defiles hallowed things, but as to whether the second hand does or does not become defiled at all; on the view however
that it does, an may agree with R. Joshua that it is rendered unclean at the second remove.
(9) This distinction obtains only in the case of unconsecrated food, which does not become susceptible to uncleanness till
it has been once wetted (cf. p. 124, nn. 6f). R. Hanina b. Antigonos assumes that the Mishnah refers to consecrated foods
and that their ‘dryness’ means that they have not yet been fitted for uncleanness.
(10) Lit., ‘love’.
(11) Following is the Tosefta reading, which differs in several respects from our passage: ‘R. H b. A. said: Is there (a
distinction in favour of) dry things in regard to hallowed things? (It must refer to a case), therefore, where he picks up
the cake with a spindle or a chip of wood and he eats with it an (unconsecrated) olive or onion; (it is permitted) in the
case of terumah but not in the case of hallowed things’. The version of the Tosefta quoted by Tosaf. (s.v. tk )
corresponds more nearly to our own, but likewise omits the sentence, ‘Does not then the honour in which hallowed
things are held render them fit for (uncleanness)?’, and makes the answer appear to be part of R. H. b. A.’s statement
instead of a reply by others to his question.
(12) Whose hands were leviticany clean.
(13) Because the eater's hands were not clean.
(14) Jast.: reed, especially reed used as spindle (v. Ar. s.v.); also as fork.
(15) Heb. rfrf ; Levy reads, sfrf from Grk. ** == ** (shuttle). The spindle and whorl, being small flat pieces of
wood, do not come within the category of ‘Kelim’ (vessels or articles), and consequently are not susceptible to
(16) For the hands, which possess second-grade uncleanness, do not defile dry unconsecrated foods, since the latter are
not susceptible to uncleanness at the third remove (V. p. 155, n. 2).
(17) Lest his hands touch the consecrated food in his mouth, or defile it indirectly by rendering the saliva unclean.
(18) Though unclean hands can invalidate terumah, the Rabbis relied on the eaters of terumah taking due care, and
imposed no prohibition in this case. According to the Gemara's explanation, therefore, the Mishnah does not refer to
consecrated but to unconsecrated food; and ‘dry’ does not mean that the food had not become susceptible to uncleanness,
but simply that it was dry at the moment for were it wet, then the hands would convey to the liquid uncleanness at the
first remove (cf. P. 152, n. 4), which would render the unconsecrated food unclean at the second remove, and the latter in
turn would disqualify the terumah by conveying to it uncleanness at the third remove (so Rashi here). Another view
(refuted by Rashi here, although accepted by him apparently in his note to the Mishnah) takes ‘dry’ to mean that the
unconsecrated food had not yet been fitted for uncleanness.
(19) And also of Second time, but lot of terumah, v. Yeb. 68b (Sonc. ed., p. 458).
(20) V. infra p. 156.
(21) The ‘amme ha-arez.
(22) If an ‘am ha-arez set aside wine and oil for Temple use (for libations and meal-offerings respectively) during the
seasons of the winepresses and olive-vats, he may be trusted in regard to their purity throughout the year (for another
explanation v. Tosaf. s.v. vsuvhca ). For though an ‘am ha-arez, could not be trusted in respect to terumah, he could
be relied up on strictly to observe the laws of purity in respect to hallowed things.
(23) When everyone can be trusted to purify his vessels: cf. Toh. IX, .
(24) V. n. 5; lit., ‘they’.
(25) I.e.,an Associate priest.
(26) And then give it to the priest.
(27) I.e., the ‘am ha-arez owner to the priest.
(28) A log == six eggs.
(29) I.e., he had put a quarter log of wine in a vessel to be used as a drink-offering.
(30) For since he is trusted in regard to the hallowed things, i.e., the drink-offering, he is also trusted in regard to the
Talmud - Mas. Chagigah 25a
THAT ARE MIXED UP,1 THEY ARE TRUSTED DURING THE SEASON OF THE
WINE-PRESSES AND THE OLIVE-VATS AND PRIOR TO [THE SEASON OF] THE
WINE-PRESSES SEVENTY DAYS.2 GEMARA. In Judea but not In Galilee: what is the reason?
Resh Lakish said: Because a strip of [land inhabited by] Cutheans3 separates them.4 — Let it be
brought then in a box, chest or turret!5 — This is according to Rabbi, who said: A tent in motion is
not to be considered a tent.6 For it is taught: One who enters Gentile territory in a box, chest or
turret, Rabbi declares to be unclean, and R. Jose b. Judah to be clean.7 — But let it be brought in an
earthenware vessel fitted with a close-bound covering!8 R. Eliezer9 said: They teach:10 Hallowed
things are not protected11 by a close-bound covering. — But it is taught: The [water of] purification
is not protected by a close-bound covering. Surely this implies that hallowed things are protected! —
No, it implies that water which is not yet sanctified12 is protected by a close-bound covering.13 —
But ‘Ulla said: The Associates prepare [their hallowed things]14 in purity in Galilee!15 — They let
them remain; and when Elijah comes16 he win purify them.17 AND ONLY AT THE SEASON OF
THE WINE-PRESSES AND OLIVE VATS IN REGARD TO TERUMAH. Now we shall point to a
contradiction. He18 who finished [gathering] his olives, let him leave19 one basket [for terumah] and
give it to a poor priest!20 — R. Nahman said: There is no contradiction: the one [Mishnah]21 refers to
early-ripening [olives],22 and the other refers to later ripening [olives].23 Said R. Adda b. Ahaba to
him: Which [are caned late-ripening]? Like those of your fathers. R. Joseph said: They taught this of
Galilee.24 Abaye put an objection to him: Transjordania and Galilee are like Judea: they are trusted
[there] In regard to the wine during the wine-season, and in regard to the oil during the oil-season;
but not in regard to the wine during the oil-season, and not in regard to the oil during the
wine-season? — The best [explanation],25 therefore, is that which was given at first.26 IF [THE
SEASON OF] THE WINE-PRESSES AND OLIVE-VATS WAS PASSED, AND ONE BROUGHT
TO HIM A JAR OF WINE OF TERUMAH, THE LATTER MAY NOT ACCEPT IT FROM HIM.
HOWEVER, [THE ‘AM HA-AREZ,] MAY LEAVE IT FOR THE COMING [SEASON] OF THE
WINE-PRESS. R. Shesheth was asked: If [the priest] transgressed and accepted It, may he leave it
for the next [season of the] winepress?-He answered them: Ye have learnt it:
(1) Explained in Gemara (p. 161) to mean that unconsecrated wine terumah and drink-offering are mixed together,
though, as a rule, the expression is a technical term for the admixture of secular produce with terumah in proportions
sufficient to make the whole prohibited to non-priests. ,ugnusnv In (‘mixed up’) is f. pl. part. pu'al, from (pi'el),
denom. of gns == ‘(sacred) fruit’, from rt gns == ‘flow, weep’; cf. Ex. XXII, 28.
(2) When it is customary to begin purifying the vessels for the wine. Though normally the ‘am ha-ares is not trusted in
regard to his jugs even during the vat-season, in this case he is trusted, because he is believed in regard to the
drink-offering therein; v. p. 161, n. 1.
(3) I.e., Samari-tans; v. II Kings XVII, 24, 29, and J.E. vol. IV, p. 398. For the Talmudic attitude to Samaritans, v. /.E.
vol. X, p. 672f (s. Religion). For censorial influence on word, v. last, s.v. h,uf .
(4) The Sages declared heathen territory to be unclean, for fear of defilement by an undiscovered grave; v. Shab.
14b-15a. Thus even Associates could not bring sacred things (e.g., libations) from Galilee to the Temple, which was in
(5) I.e., a kind of chest or case. These receptacles, it is held, could protect their contents against defilement.
(6) I.e., such a receptacle. technically termed a tent, does not protect its contents from defilement.
(7) V. Naz. 55a (Sonc. ed., p. 204 notes).
(8) V. Nun,. XIX, 15.
(9) Read with MS.M.: R. Eleazar.
(10) Heb. ihbua an unusual expression for a Baraitha teaching, for which the most common formula is thb, (it is
(11) Lit., ‘delivered’, . sc. from defilement.
(12) I.e., the ashes of the red heifer had not yet been put in.
(13) And may afterwards be used with the ashes for sprinkling.
(14) I.e., their wine and oil for Temple use (Rashi).
(15) Which, Implies that there is a way of transporting them in purity to the Temple.
(16) Rashi reads, ‘Maybe Elijah win come’. For the concept of Elijah as the solver of an religious controversies and legal
disputes v. Men. 45b; Ab. R. N. xxxiv; Num. l lab. III, near the end. For the general Rabbinic concept of Elijah v. J.E.
(17) I.e., reveal a path by ‘which the hallowed things can be brought, which does not lead through heathen territory. [The
Associates, accordingly, who lived during the Temple times and who were anxious to express their devotion, to it, would
prepare their wine and oil in purity in the expectation that Elijah might come and direct them, through a clean path
enabling them to bring these to the Temple. Rashi, Nid. 6b, refers this to the period after the Destruction of the Temple,
when the Associates would follow this practice in the expectation that the Temple might be rebuilt in their days.]
(18) I.e., an ‘am ha-arez.
(19) Var. lec., ‘and left’.
(20) Heb. ivf(v) hbgk (this reading is supported by Maimonides) i.e., the ‘am ha-arez, must give the olives to the
priest before they become susceptible to uncleanness, so that the priest may prepare the olive-oil himself in purity. A
poor priest is mentioned, because a rich one would not accept such terumah, as he would not wash to bother himself with
the pressing of a small quantity of olives. But ‘Aruk and Tosaf and so apparently Rashi (v. Tosaf.) read, ivfv hbhgk
, ‘in the presence of the priest , I.e., so that the priest may be sure that the olives have not been rendered susceptible to
uncleanness. According to either reading this Mishnah snows that the ‘am ha-arez is not to be trusted even during the
season, and thus contradicts our own Mishnah.
(21) l.e., our own.
(22) Which are gathered at the normal season: consequently the ‘am ha-arez is trusted.
(23) Since these are gathered after the normal season, the ‘am ha-ares is no longer trusted in regard to terumah.
(24) The second Mishnah (Toh. IX, 4), according to which the ‘an ha-arez not to be trusted at all, refers to Galilee,
whereas our own Mishnah according to which the ‘am ha-ares is to be trusted during the proper season, expressly refers
to Judah. Tosaf. a.I. explains that the Galileans were rich and produced so much olive oil that their season continued
(25) Lit., ‘the white (explanation)’.
(26) I.e., R. Nahman's.
Talmud - Mas. Chagigah 25b
If an Associate and an ‘am ha-arez inherited [jointly] from their father, who was an ‘am ha-arez, [the
Associate] may say to the other: ‘Take thou the wheat that is in one place, and I [shall take] the
wheat that is In the other place; [or] take thou the wine that is in the one place, and I [shall take] the
wine that is in the other’. But he may not say to him: ‘Take thou the liquid [produce] and I [shall
take] the dry;1 [or] take thou the wheat and I [shall take] the barley’,2 And it is taught with , regard to
this: That Associate burns the liquid [produce]3 and leaves the dry. Why now? Let him leave it for
the coming [season of the] wine-press! — [It refers] to something which has no pressing [season].4
— Let him leave it then for the [next] Festival!5 — [It refers] to something which cannot be kept till
the Festival. BUT IF HE SAID TO HIM, I HAVE SET APART THEREIN A QUARTER LOG AS
A HALLOWED THING’, HE IS TRUSTED [IN REGARD TO THE PURITY OF THE WHOLE].
We have learnt there: Beth Shammai and Beth Hillel agree that for the purpose of preparing the
Passover sacrifice one may investigate [a field containing a ploughed grave],6 but not for the purpose
of eating terumah.7 What is meant by ‘investigate’? — Rab Judah said that Samuel said: A man
blows [on the ground]8 of a Beth ha-Peras9 [grave area] and proceeds. But R. Hiyya b. Abbah in the
name of ‘Ulla said: A Beth ha-peras which has been trodden is clean.10 In the case of those who go
to prepare the Passover sacrifice, [the Sages] did not maintain their enactment11 where kareth
[extinction]12 was involved; in the case of those who go to eat terumah, they maintained their
enactment where death [at the hands of Heaven] was involved.13 A question was asked: If one
investigated [a Beth Peras] for his Passover sacrifice, may he [also] eat his terumah? Rabbah b. ‘Una
said: If one investigated [a Beth Peras] for his Passover sacrifice, he may not [also] eat his terumah.
Said an old [scholar] to him: Do not dispute with ‘Ulla, for we have learnt according to his view:
BUT IF HE SAID TO HIM, ‘I HAVE SET APART THEREIN A QUARTER-LOG AS A
HALLOWED THING’, HE IS TRUSTED [IN REGARD TO THE PURITY OF THE WHOLE].
Thus, since he is trusted in regard to hallowed things, he is trusted also in regard to terumah.14
Likewise In our case, since he is credited [to be clean] in regard to the Passover sacrifice, he is
credited [to be clean] also in regard to terumah. IN. REGARD TO JUGS OF WINE AND JUGS OF
OIL etc. A Tannna taught: They are not trusted either in regard to the casks or in regard to the
terumah. Casks of what? If they are casks of hallowed things, then since they are trusted in regard to
the hallowed things, they are to be trusted also in regard to the casks! If, on the other hand, they are
casks of terumah, this is obvious? For if they are not trusted in regard to terumah, are they to be
trusted in regard to the casks! it must refer, therefore, to empty [casks] of hallowed things15 at any
time of the year,16 or to full [casks] of terumah at the time of the vats.17 We have learnt: IN
REGARD TO JUGS OF WINE AND JUGS OF OIL THAT ARE MIXED UP: surely [it means]
mixed up with, terumah!18 — The School of R. Hiyya said: [It means] mixed up with hallowed
things. — But does ‘mixing up’ obtain in the case of hallowed things?19 The School of R. Ila'i said:
It is a case where he prepares his untithed produce20 in purity in order to take therefrom
drink-offerings.21 PRIOR TO [THE SEASON OF] THE WINE-PRESSES SEVENTY DAYS.
Abaye said: From this is to be deduced that it is obligatory on the aris [tenant]22 to see to the
provision of the jugs seventy days before the pressing-season.
MISHNAH. FROM MODI'IM23 INWARDS24 [THE POTTERS] ARE TRUSTED IN REGARD
TO EARTHENWARE VESSELS; FROM MODI'IM OUTWARDS THEY ARE NOT TRUSTED.25
FOR INSTANCE: IF THE POTTER WHO SELLS THE POTS ENTERED26 INWARDS OF
MODI'IM, THEN THE SAME POTTER27 IN REGARD TO THE SAME POTS28 AND IN
REGARD TO THE SAME BUYERS29 IS TRUSTED. BUT IF HE WENT OUT [FROM MODl'IM
OUTWARDS] HE IS NOT TRUSTED.
GEMARA. A Tanna taught: Modi'im [itself] is sometimes [considered] as inwards, sometimes as
outwards. For instance: If the potter is going Out and the Associate is coming in,30 it is [considered]
as inwards.31 If both are coming in
(1) The former being susceptible to uncleanness, but not the latter.
(2) In regard to each kind of produce, the Associate may chose for himself the produce that has not been rendered
susceptible to uncleanness, or which he knows still to be clean. But he is not entitled to exchange one kind of produce
for another11 the heritage, and by so doing he would transgress Lev. XIX, 14, (‘nor put a stumbling-block before the
blind’). The principle (as Rashi explains) on which this Mishnah is based is that of vrhrc (retrospective selection or
designation; v. last. s.v.), which applies to different parts of the same produce, but not to different kinds of produce,
because on the father's death a share in each kind of produce comprising the heritage falls in each heir.
(3) I.e., if he is a priest and inherits oil which is terumah, he nay use it for kindling his lamp.
(4) I.e., no special manufacturing season, e.g., beer or meat. According to this explanation, ‘burn’ means ‘destroy’.
(5) When the produce of the ‘am ha-arez, is considered clean: v. pp, 165-6.
(6) I.e., if a man who is going to prepare his Passover sacrifice must traverse a field containing a ploughed grave, he may
walk through the field provided he investigates his path so as to avoid defilement by contact with splintered bones; for
bones from the size of a barley grain (unless they comprise a quarter-kab of the larger bones or the greater number of the
bones, when they defile in accordance with the law of tent-covering’; v. p , 56, n. 6 and Oh. II, 1) defile only when
touched or carried.
(7) Investigation cannot be relied upon; v. p, 160, n. 5.
(8) In order to blow away from his path any bone-splinters large enough to de-file by contact (v. supra, n. 6): the bigger
bones he would see and avoid.
(9) xrp == ‘half’ sc. furrow (cf Tosef. Neg. VII, 10, where Peras == ‘half a loaf’. xrp ,hc (the area of, i.e., a
square, Peras) is a technical term for a field, the area of fifty square cubits (a square halffurrow) rendered unclean on
account of crushed bones carried over it from a ploughed grave; v. M.K. 5b and D.S. a.l. note; Oh. XVII, 1 where ten
cubits represents the size of the full furrow; and Nid. 57a. The above explanation of Beth Peras follows Jastrow's view
(v. Dict. s. xrp ) and adopts the reading vbgn hmj (‘half a furrow’) instead of the usual reading vbgn tkn
(‘a full furrow’) In M.K. 5b. I Rashi (to Nid. 57a) explains Peras from rt. meaning ‘to break’ i.e., an area of crushed
bones; Maim. (to Oh. XVII) from rt. meaning ‘to extend’ i.e., area of extension; v. also Levy s.v.
(10) It should be investigated then by seeing whether it has been trodden or not.
(11) The uncleanness of a Beth Peras is a Rabbinic law.
(12) ,rf = ,rfv (Niph. infin.), ‘to be cut off’; cf. the recurrent Pentateuchal formula, ‘that soul shall be cut off
from among his people’. It is a term for divine punishment (opp. to v,hn capital punishment) incurred for thirty-six
kinds of transgression (v. Ker. I, 1), including neglect to offer the Passover sacrifice at the proper time; v. Num. IX, 13.
The nature of the punishment is variously explained: (a) childlessness (Rashi to Shab. 25a, s. ,rfu ); (b) premature
death (M .K. 28a); (c) extinction of soul (Sanh. 64b). Maim. (Teshubah Ch. VIII) holds that kureth means that the soul
perishes completely; but this view is controverted by Nahmanides (Comm. to Pentateuch end of hrjt ).
(13) E.g., for wittingly eating terumah when he was unclean. Kureith is the severer penalty; nevertheless the Rabbis
waived their enactment regarding a Beth Peras in the case of the Passover sacrifice, because it has a fixed time. But in
the case of terumah, for the eating of which there is no fixed time, the priest must either avoid the Beth Peras by taking a
longer route, or else if he traverses it, he must purify himself in accordance with the law of corpse-defilement, before
partaking of the terumah (cf. our passage in Pes. 92b with Rashi and Tosaf. a.l.).
(14) For it would be unseemly that part of the wine should be offered as a libation, whilst another part, intended as
terumah, should be considered unclean.
(15) Once the hallowed contents have been emptied out, the ‘am ha-arez cannot be relied upon in regard to the purity of
his vessels. —
(16) In regard to hallowed things, there is no distinction between the vat-seasons and the rest of the year.
(17) Though the ‘am ha-ares was trusted at the appropriate pressing-season in regard to the terumah, in order that the
Associate priests might not be deprived of the greater part of their dues, he was not trusted in regard to the vessels (cf. p.
163, ‘And do not wonder, etc.’). Thus the priest could not accept the terumah in the original vessels, but had to empty it
into his own.
(18) And yet he is trusted, the Mishnah tells us, in regard to the vessels! V. p. 156, n. 6.
(19) ‘Mixing up’ necessarily obtains in the case of terumah, because an untithed produce contains a part which must
event many be set apart as terumah; but not so hallowed things, which have not perforce to be separated from the
untithed produce. V. next note.
(20) Heb. tebel i.e., produces in that stage in which the separation of levitical and priestly shares respectively is required
before one may partake of them; eatables forbidden pending the separation of sacred gifts. tebel, however, is not subject
to tithes until it is brought home (Jast. s.v. kcy ).
(21) I.e., unconsecrated produce, hallowed produce, and terumah are all mixed together; and since he is trusted in regard
to the hallowed produce, he is also trusted in regard to both the terumah and the vessels on the principle explained on p.
161, n. 1.
(22) A sub-farmer who tills the owner's ground for a given share in the produce.
(23) In Mishnah edd., Modi'ith; also occurs as Moda'ith and Modi'im. V. I Macc. II,1. Described in pes. 93fi (q.v.) as
fifteen mil — each of two thousand cubits or three thousand five hundred feet — from Jerusalem. Perhaps it is to be
identified with the modern Amdiyeh, seventeen miles north-west of Jerusalem.
(24) I.e., towards Jerusalem.
(25) l.e., potters, who are ‘amme ha-arez are trusted within this radius from Jerusalem in regard to small, essential
earthenware vessels like pots and cups, because no furnaces, whether for pottery or lime, were permitted in Jerusalem on
account of the smoke.
(26) Note the var. lec. in the Gemara quotation (v. p. 163, n. 4).
(27) I.e., who brought the vessels inwards of Modi'im; but should be transfer them to another potter (who is an ‘am
ha-ares) they may not be purchased.
(28) I.e., which the potter himself bought; but he is not trusted in regard to vessels he may have acquired from a local
(29) I.e., only if the Associate buyers themselves saw the potter bring the vessels in, may they buy them from him.
(30) I.e.,if the potter enters Modi'im from inwards and the Associate from out-wards.
(31) As the potter is leaving the inward area, the Associate is permitted to buy from him, in order that he should not be
left without vessels.
Talmud - Mas. Chagigah 26a
or both are going Out [it is considered] as outwards.1 Abaye said: We have also learnt [accordingly]:
IF THE POTTER WHO SOLD THE POTS ENTERED INWARDS OF MODI'IM.2 Thus, it is only
because it is inwards of Modi'im [that he is trusted], but in Modi'im itself he is not trusted. Consider
now the latter part [of the Mishnah]: IF HE WENT OUT, HE IS NOT TRUSTED. THUS, IN
MODI'IM ITSELF HE IS TO BE TRUSTED! It is clearly, then, to be deduced from this, that, in the
one case,3 the potter is going out and the Associate is coming in; In the other case, both are going out
or both are coming in. Proven. A Tanna taught: They are trusted [only] in regard to small
earthenware vessels for hallowed things.4 Resh Lakish said: only if they can be taken in one hand.
But R. Johanan said: Even if they cannot be taken in one hand. Resh rakish said: They taught this
Only of empty [vessels], but not of fun ones. But R. Johanan said: Even of fun ones, and even if his
head-covering5 is in it. Raba said: But R. Johanan admits that the liquid itself is unclean.6 And do
not wonder at the [anomaly] for in the case of a jar full of liquid, the jar is unclean for seven days,
but the liquid is clean.7 MISHNAH. IF TAX-COLLECTORS ENTERED A HOUSE,8 AND
SIMILARLY IF THIEVES RESTORED [STOLEN] VESSELS9 THEY ARE BELIEVED IF THEY
SAY: WE HAVE NOT TOUCHED [ANYTHING]’.10 AND IN JERUSALEM THEY11 ARE
TRUSTED IN REGARD TO HALLOWED THINGS,12 AND DURING A FESTIVAL13 ALSO IN
REGARD TO TERUMAH.
GEMARA. Now we shall point to a contradiction: If tax collectors entered a house, the whole
house is rendered unclean!14 — There is no contradiction: In the one case, a Gentile was with
them;15 in the other case, there was no Gentile with them. For we have learnt: If a Gentile is with
them, they are believed if they say, ‘We have not entered [at all]’; but they are not believed if they
say, ‘We entered but we did not touch [anything]’. — What difference does it make if a Gentile be
with them? R. Johanan and R. Eleazar [explain it]: one says, They are afraid of the Gentile;16 the
other says. They are afraid of the Government.17 What is the practical difference between then? —
There is [a practical difference] between them when the Gentile is not of high standing.18 AND
SIMILARLY IF THIEVES RESTORED [STOLEN] VESSELS. Now we shall point to a
contradiction: If thieves entered a house, It is not rendered unclean, except for the place where the
feet of the thieves have trodden!19 — R. Phinehas said in the name of Rab:20 [The Mishnah speaks of
a case] when they have repented.21 It is moreover to be deduced, for [the Mishnah] teaches: [If the
thieves] restore the vessels.22 Proven. AND IN JERUSALEM, THEY ARE TRUSTED IN REGARD
TO HALLOWED THINGS. A Tanna taught: They are trusted in regard to large earthenware vessels
for hallowed things.23 Why an this?24 — Because no furnaces were erected in Jerusalem.25 AND
DURING A FESTIVAL ALSO IN REGARD TO TERUMAH. Whence is this deduced? — R.
Joshua b. Levi said: Scripture Says: So all the men of Israel were gathered against the city,
associated26 as one man:27 thus the verse made them an Associates.28 MISHNAH. IF [AN
ASSOCIATE] OPENED HIS JAR [OF WINE] OR BROKE INTO HIS DOUGH [TO SELL THEM]
ON ACCOUNT OF THE FESTIVAL,29 R. JUDAH SAYS,30 HE MAY FINISH [SELLING THEM
AFTER THE FESTIVAL];31 BUT THE SAGES SAY, HE MAY NOT FINISH.32 GEMARA. R.
Ammi and R. Isaac Nappaha33 sat in the anteroom34 of R. Isaac Nappaha. One began and said: May
he leave it for another Festival?35 — Said the other to him: The hands of an touch it, and you say,
Leave it for another Festival! Said the former: Did not, till now, the bands of an touch it?36 — [The
other] replied to him: What a comparison! It is alright up to now, because the Divine Law purified
the uncleanness of the ‘am ha-arez a during the Festival, but now it is unclean [retrospectively].37
Shall we say that Tannaim differ thereon?38 For one [Baraitha] taught: He may leave it for another
Festival; and another [Baraitha] taught: He may not leave it for another Festival. Sure]y, Tannaim
differ thereon! — No; the one [Baraitha], which teaches that he may leave it, is according to R.
Judah; the other which teaches that he may not leave it, is according to the Rabbis. But can you
possibly think so! Behold, R. Judah said: He may finish [selling them]!39 — Rather, [the Baraitha]
which teaches that he may not leave it is according to R. Judah, and the one that teaches that he may
leave it is according to the Rabbis:40 and ‘he may not leave it’ means that there is no need for him to
MISHNAH. AS SOON AS THE FESTIVAL WAS OVER, THEY CLEARED UP41 FOR THE
PURIFICATION OF THE TEMPLE COURT, IF THE FESTIVAL TERMINATED ON FRIDAY,
THEY DID NOT CLEAR UP ON ACCOUNT OF THE HONOUR DUE TO THE SABBATH.42 R.
JUDAH SAID: NEITHER ON THURSDAY,43 FOR THE PRIESTS WERE NOT [YET] FREE.44
GEMARA. A Tanna taught: For the priests were not [yet] free from [the prior duty of] removing the
ashes.45 MISHNAH. HOW DID THEY CLEAR UP FOR THE PURIFICATION OF THE TEMPLE
COURT? THEY IMMERSED THE VESSELS WHICH WERE IN THE TEMPLE, AND THEY
USED TO SAY TO THEM:46 ‘TAKE HEED
(1) In the first case, the Associate must wait till the potter comes inwards of Modi'im; in the second case, since the
Associate did not avail himself of the opportunity of buying before he reached the city, he may no longer do so. It
follows, a foriori, that if the Associate is going outward and the potter coming inward, that the former must return and
buy his vessels in the inward area.
(2) V. supra p. 162, n. 5.
(3) I.e., the latter.
(4) I.e.,the statement in the Mishnah that from Modi'im inwards the potters are trusted in regard to earthenware vessels,
refers only to small vessels for hallowed things, which are essential to the pilgrims, but not to large vessels like wine
jars, which may be bought only in Jerusalem itself (v. p. 165).
(5) u,uxrehpt ; also u,uxrept = ihxrept ; cf. Peshita to Judg. XIV, 2 for Heb. ohbhsx , Goldschmidt
trails: ‘Kopfhulle’; Levy, ‘Hulle’; Jast., ‘underwear’. Rashi annotates: Even if they are fun of his own liquid, which is
not hallowed! Whatever the exact signification of the word, the general meaning is clear: even if his profane things are in
it, the vessel is considered clean; (v. however, D.S. II. 40). MS.M. has: ‘Even if his head-covering fell therein
(6) Though the containing vessel is clean.
(7) V. p. 141, nn. 4-5.
(8) I.e., if Jewish tax-collectors, acting on behalf of a non-Jewish government. entered a Jewish house in order to seize
pledges for the taxes due. Cf. Toh. VII, 6.
(9) Or simply ‘articles’.
(10) I.e., they are trusted in regard to hallowed things but not terumah; so Rashi, who regards the whole of our Mishnah
as a further exemplification of leniency in regard to hallowed things as compared with terumah (v. p. 155f); the Tosef.,
that he quotes in support of his view, corresponds to the reading in our edd. Tosaf. (s.v. ihtcdv ), on the other hand,
refers the Mishnah to terumah as well and quotes in support a different version of the same Tosef. statement.
(11) I. e., the ‘amme ha-arez.
(12) V. Gemara infra p. 165.
(13) When an are considered to be clean; cf. p. 165, n. 11 and p. 166.
(14) I.e., an the utensils are to be regarded as unclean, for it is to be presumed that the tax-collectors touched them.
(15) I.e., in the latter case, the tax-collectors are not believed if they say that they have not to touched, because they are
bound, in the presence of the Gentile, to have searched everything.
(16) Lest he punish them.
(17) Lest the Gentile inform against them.
(18) In which case he himself has not the power to punish them, but he is able to inform against them.
(19) Now if the place on which they stood is unclean, then certainly the vessels they took and are now returning must be
(20) In Yeb. 22b, R. Papa; in B.M. 62a, Raba; in B.K. 94b and Sanh. 85a simply: As R. Phinehas said.
(21) I.e., only if, in consequence of their repentance, they restored the stolen vessels, are they believed, in accordance
with our Mishnah, if they say that they have not been touched.
(22) Showing their repentance.
(23) And, a fortiori, in regard to small vessels. The J.T. distinctly states that they are trusted in regard to the purity of an
vessels for hallowed things.
(24) The question refers also to the regulations regarding small vessels contained in the preceding Mishnah (p. 162).
(25) For making either small or large vessels. Consequently, permission was granted to buy vessels from the ‘am ha-arcs.
In the case of small vessels, which were in greater demand, the permission was extended to a fifteen mile radius round
Jerusalem; in the case of large vessels, purchase was permitted only in Jerusalem.
(26) E.V. ‘knit together’.
(27) Judg. XX, 11.
(28) Similarly, at Festivals when all the men of Israel were gathered’, they were to be regarded as Associates.
(29) Although the goods are touched by ‘amme ha-ares, they remain clean throughout the Festival (cf. p. 164, n. 6).
(30) The order of the disputants is reversed in Rashi.
(31) Otherwise the vendors win be discouraged from sending their goods, and the pilgrims will not have sufficient food;
v. Bez. 11b.
(32) I.e., he may not send the goods, because they are considered unclean retrospectively (v. infra n. 8 and cf. next
(33) I.e., ‘smith’.
(34) Lit., ‘curtain’; ‘curtained enclosure’.
(35) The question refers to the view of the Sages in the Mishnah, i.e., may the goods be kept till the following Festival,
when again an are regarded as clean?
(36) I.e., during the Festival so many amme ha-arez touched it, and yet it is considered clean throughout the festive
(37) An Associate may never sell unclean goods; and although throughout the Festival the goods were held to be clean,
immediately after the Festival the concession ceases, and the goods become retrospectively unclean, because they were
touched by ‘amme ha-arez.
(38) I.e., on the question raised above as to whether the wine etc. may be left for another Festival.
(39) After the Festival and need not leave them over for the next Festival.
(40) Rashi reverses the order of the disputants; cf. p. 165, n. 12.
(41) Lit., ‘removed’, sc. the utensils, which, having been touched during the Festival by ‘amme ha-arez, now become
(42) Every priest had to make preparations for the Sabbath, in his own home.
(43) But waited tin after the Sabbath.
(44) V. Gemara.
(45) Which, were piled up during the whole of the Festival in the centre of the altar, called Tappuah (Apple); v. Tam. II,
(46) I.e., to the ‘amme ha-arez priests who went to prostrate themselves in the Hekal (i.e., the Holy Hall where the
golden altar etc. stood). Ordinary Israelites, on the other hand, were not permitted to pass even between the Entrance
Hall and the altar.
Talmud - Mas. Chagigah 26b
THAT YE TOUCH NOT THE TABLE [AND THUS RENDER IT UNCLEAN]’.1 ALL THE
VESSELS THAT WERE IN THE TEMPLE HAD SECOND AND THIRD SETS, SO THAT IF
THE FIRST WERE RENDERED UNCLEAN, THEY MIGHT BRING A SECOND SET IN ITS
PLACE. ALL THE VESSELS THAT WERE IN THE TEMPLE REQUIRED IMMERSION,2
EXCEPT THE ALTAR OF GOLD3 AND THE ALTAR OF BRONZE,4 FOR THEY WERE
ACCOUNTED AS THE GROUND:5 THIS IS THE VIEW OF R. ELIEZER. BUT THE SAGES
SAY: BECAUSE THEY WERE OVERLAID [WITH METAL].6
GEMARA. A Tanna taught: ‘Take heed lest ye touch the Table or the Candlestick’. — Why does
not our Tanna mention the Candlestick? — In connection with the Table, there is written [the word]
‘Tamid’ [perpetual];7 in connection with the Candlestick, there is not written [the word] ‘Tamid’.8
And the other [Tanna]?9 — Since it is written: And the Candlestick over against the Table,10 it is as
though [the word] ‘Tamid’ were written in connection there-with.11 And the other [Tanna]?12 -That
[verse] comes merely to fix its place. But I can, [on the contrary,] deduce it13 from the fact that [the
Table] is a wooden utensil made for resting [things on it],14 and any wooden utensil made for resting
[things on it] is not subject to uncleanness! — What is the reason? — We require it to be like a
sack:15 Just as a sack is movable both fun and empty, so everything that is movable both full and
empty [is susceptible to uncleanness].16 This, too, is movable both fun and empty. As Resh Lakish
[said]: for Resh Lakish said: What is the meaning of the verse, Upon the clean, table?17 , The
inference is that it is susceptible to uncleanness. But why? It is a wooden utensil made for resting
[things on it], and cannot, therefore, contract unclean ness! It teaches, therefore, that they used to lift
it and show thereon to the Festival pilgrims the showbread, and to say to them: Behold the love in
which you are held by the Omnipresent; it is taken away as [fresh as] it is set down. For R. Joshua b.
Levi said: A great miracle was Performed in regard to the showbread: As [fresh as] It was when set
down, so was it taken away. For it is said: To put hot bread it the day when it was taken away.18 But
I can deduce this19 from the fact that it is overlaid!20 For behold we have learnt: If a table or a
side-table21 was damaged,22 or was overlaid with marble,23 but room was left24 for setting cups
thereon,it remains susceptible to uncleanness.25 R. Judah said: There must be room [also] for Setting
Portions [of food thereon].26 And should you say, Acacia wood27 is valuable and is not nullified [by
the plating], this would be quite right according to Resh Lakish, who said: They taught this28 only of
utensils of common wood,29 which come from overseas, but utensils of polished wood30 are not
nullified But what can one say according to R. Johanan, who said: Even vessels of polished wood
become nullified [by the plating]? And should you say: The one [Mishnah] refers to a fixed31
covering, the other to a covering that is not fixed,32 behold Resh Lakish asked R. Johanan: [Does it33
apply only] to a fixed covering, or [also] to a covering that is not fixed? [Only] to overlaid rims, or
[also] if the rims are not overlaid? And he answered him: It makes no difference whether the
covering is fixed or the covering is not fixed; whether the rims are overlaid or the rims are not
overlaid! Rather, [must you say], the Table is different
(1) I.e., the table of the showbread, which could not be removed for immersion since the showbread was to he on it
continually, v. Gemara. Some texts add: ‘And the Candlestick’; but v. p. 168.
(2) On account of the uncleanness contracted during the Festival.
(3) V. Ex. XXX, 1ff.
(4) V. Ex. XXVII, 1ff and I Kings VIII,64.
(5) Utensils of earth are not susceptible to uncleanness;.v. pp. 170- 171 and cf. Sheb. X, 7; Uk, III, 10.
(6) Explained infra 27a; cf. Kel. XI, 2, 4, 6.
(7) V. Ex. XXV, 30 (‘always’).
(8) Actually, the word ‘Tamid’ is used of the Temple lamp (cf. Ex. XXVII, 20, ‘to cause a lamp to burn continually’);
but, as Rashi points out, it has not the same meaning when applied to the Candlestick as when applied to the Table. In
the case of the latter, ‘perpetual’ means ‘day and night’, for the showbread remained on the Table from Sabbath to
Sabbath. In the case of the former, it merely means ‘every night’, as the expression from evening unto morning’ (ibid.
XXVII, 21) indicates (v. Men. 89a); thus, the Candle-stick could be removed during the day. For a similar use of the
word ‘Tamid’ cf. Ex. XXIX, 38 and Lev. VI, 13. For the difficulty raised by the statement in Tam. 30b that the western
lamp of the Candlestick burned an day, v. Tosaf. a.I. (s.v. vrubn ).
(9) I.e., why does the Tanna of the Baraitha include the Candlestick?
(10) Ex. XXVI, 35.
(11) I.e., the meaning of the verse is — so.long as the Table is there so long must the Candlestick be over against it.
(12) I.e., why does the Tanna of our Mishnah exclude the Candlestick?
(13) I.e., the insusceptibility of the Table to uncleanness.
(14) So Jast. and Levy; But Rashi explains: a wooden utensil intended to rest in one place; and Goldschmidt translates:
‘Ein ruhendes Holzger_t’.
(15) I.e., in order to be susceptible to uncleanness, we require a wooden utensil to be like a sack, for they are mentioned
together in one verse (Lev. XI, 32) in respect of defilement.
(16) This would exclude wooden vessels not intended to be moved at all or such as cannot be moved when fun because
of their liability to break i.e., a vessel containing forty se'ahs of liquid or two kors of dry goods.
(17) Lev. XXIV, 6.
(18) I Sam. XXI, 7. I.e., it was still ‘hot breath in the day when it was taken away’.
(19) I.e., that the Table was susceptible to uncleanness even though intended for resting things on it (or to rest in one
(20) With gold; since metal utensils are not likened to a sack, they are susceptible to defilement even if they are not
intended to be moved.
(21) hepkus (delphica, sub. mensa) a three-legged table used as a toilet table or a water, contrad. from ijka (eating
(22) If it is so damaged as to be useless for its original purpose, it becomes insusceptible to uncleanness.
(23) Stone vessels are not susceptible to uncleanness.
(24) I.e., part of the table was left undamaged or uncovered with marble.
(25) Because it is still useful for its original purpose.
(26) Otherwise, it does not serve the purpose of a table, and consequently becomes insusceptible to uncleanness. For a
fuller explanation of the principles involved, v. ktrah ,rtp, to the Mishnah, Kel. XXII, 1. According to either
view, however, it is evident that an object's insusceptibility to uncleanness is dependent on the covering: if the marble
can render a table unsusceptible to defilement, then a fortiori, the gold plating renders the Sanctuary Table susceptible to
(27) Of which the Table was made: v. Ex. XXV, 23.
(28) I .e., that the covering is an-important and nullifies the wood.
(29) Or foresters’ apparel (i.e.,leather covers), Jast. Aliter (on basis of other reading): camping apparel’, Jast.; Levy:
(30) Probably coral-wood (so Jast.). Levy ‘Kostbare Holzart’ (s.v. xnhxn ).
(31) Lit., ‘standing’, i.e., fixed e.g., with nails.
(32) The covering of the Temple Table (of which our Mishnah speaks) was not fixed.
(33) I.e., the Mishnah of the table and side-table, which teaches that the susceptibility of the table to uncleanness
depends on the covering.
Talmud - Mas. Chagigah 27a
for the Divine Law cans it Wood.1 For it is written: The altar, three cubits high, and the length
thereof two cubits, was of food, and so the corners; the length thereof and the walls thereof, were
also of wood; and he said unto me: ‘This is the table that is before the Lord’.2 — [The verse] begins
with the altar and ends with the table! R. Johanan and Resh Lakish both explain: At the time when
the Temple stood, the altar used to make atonement for a person; now a person's table makes
atonement for him.3 ALL THE VESSELS IN THE TEMPLE HAD SECOND SETS ETC. THE
ALTAR OF BRONZE’4 for it is written: An altar of earth5 thou shalt make unto Me.6 ‘THE ALTAR
OF GOLD’, for it is written: The candlestick and the altars;7 thus, the altars are likened one to
another. BUT THE SAGES SAY: BECAUSE THEY WERE OVERLAID [WITH METAL]. On the
contrary, since they were overlaid, they were susceptible to uncleanness!8 — Read: ‘But the Sages
declared them Unclean because they were overlaid’. Or, alternatively, I can explain: The Rabbis say
it to R. Eliezer: What have you in mind?9 The fact that they were overlaid?10 But their Plating was
quite nullified in regard to them.11 R. Abbahu said that R. Eleazar said: The fire of Gehinnom12 has
no power over the Scholars. It is an ad majus conclusion [to be drawn] from the salamander.13 If now
[in the case of] the salamander, which is [only] an offspring of fire, he who anoints himself with its
blood is not affected by fire, how much more so the Scholars, whose whole body is fire, for it is
written: Is not My word like as fire? saith the Lord.14 Resh Lakish said. The fire of Gehinnom has
no power over the transgressors of Israel. It is an ad majus conclusion [to be drawn] from the altar of
gold. If the altar of gold, on which there is only a denar thickness of gold,15 is not affected through
so many years by the fire, how much less so the transgressors of Israel, who are full of good deeds16
as a pomegranate [is of seeds]; for it is written, Thy temples are like a pomegranate split open.17
Read not ‘thy temples’ [rakkathek] but ‘thy worthless ones’ [rekanim shebak].18
(1) Even when overlaid. Hence, it has to be regarded as a wooden utensil made for resting things on it, and, but for the
fact that it used to be lifted to exhibit the showbread on it, would not be susceptible to uncleanness.
(2) Ezek. XLI, 22.
(3) Through the hospitality shown to poor guests. Cf. R. Johanan's statements about ‘a mouthful of food’ at the end of
San. 103b (Sonc. ed., p. 705).
(4) Sc. is accounted as the ground.
(5) Understood here to refer to the altar of bronze; but v. Tosaf s.v. jczn.
(6) Ex. XX, 24.
(7) Num. III, 31.
(8) For were they not overlaid with metal, they would belong to the category of wooden utensils made for resting things
on them which are insusceptible to uncleanness (v. p. 168).
(9) I.e., what is your reason for declaring the altars to be insusceptible to uncleanness solely on the ground that Scripture
terms them earth, but not because they are utensils made for resting things on them?
(10) And are consequently to be regarded as metal vessels, which are susceptible to uncleanness.
(11) Because Scripture terms them ‘wood’ (Ezek. XLI, 22; cf. p. 170).
(12) V. p. 82, n. 1.
(13) A fabulous animal generated in fire which, according to the Midrash, must burn incessantly for seven days and
nights; but Rashi here postulates seven years, and the Aruch (s.v.) seventy years. For a fun account of the legend, v. J. E.
vol. X, pp. 646-7.
(14) Jer. XXIII, 29.
(15) Denarius, v. Glos. For Moses wonder at the miracle, v. Tosaf. s.v. ihtau .
(16) Lit., ‘precepts’.
(17) Cant. IV, 3.
(18) Lit., ‘thy empty ones’. The thought is the reverse of Eccl. VII, 20; there is none in Israel that sinneth, and yet doeth
not good, for even the transgressors, devoid of merit as they may seem, still have innumerable good deeds to their credit.
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